New manager to take Laois to ‘next level’

26-05-13. Laois v Louth - Leinster Senior Football Championship at O' Moore Park, Portlaoise.Justin McNulty, Laois Manager.Photo: John Quirke /�John Quirke Photography, Unit 17, Blackcastle Shopping Cte. Navan. Co. Meath. 046-9079044 / 087-2579454.
Laois GAA chairman Gerry Kavanagh wants the next manager of the Laois senior football team to take the county to ‘the next level.’

Laois GAA chairman Gerry Kavanagh wants the next manager of the Laois senior football team to take the county to ‘the next level.’

Speaking to the Leinster Express yesterday (Monday), Kavanagh confirmed that the process to replace McNulty is underway, and he is clear on what he wants from the Armagh man’s successor. “We want to get the person that is best placed to do the job.

“Some people will say we have to keep up this level, but I want to go to the next level. Justin McNulty brought great discipline and structures to Laois, and that was a culture change for some, but we have to move on, and we want to move on to the next level, at all grades.”

While the search is on for a senior manager, nominations for minor and U-21 management positions are also being sought as a full review of management structures at county level is now underway.

The current incumbents, George Doyle (minor) and Tony Maher and Mick Lawlor (U-21) could still be reappointed, but clubs have the option to nominate candidates for those positions while the review is taking place.

Clubs have two weeks to submit nominations for all three positions, with the deadline set at close of business next Friday.

No time frame has been placed on appointing a manager either, with Kavanagh admitting identifying the right person will outweight any time frame. “We don’t want to rush it and end up getting it wrong, that’s not the criteria we should work on, the best criteria is to get the right person in.”

Kavanagh also paid tribute to Justin McNulty for the work he did over the three years he was in charge. “The county is a long way better off for having Justin McNulty here for three years.”

While speculation has started to link various men to the post, Kavanagh has denied that former Roscommon ‘keeper Shane Curran had been contacted by Laois, after it was claimed in national media last week that he had been approached. “I wasn’t speaking to him, and no one has spoken to him officially.”

The county board will now wait for all nominations to be submitted from clubs before drawing up a shortlis. They are not bound by the nominations, and can pursue candidates outside of those proposed by clubs.