Dublin team a spawning ground for future managers

Louth senior footballers went close enough to making a Championship breakthrough in the early part of the 1990s, only a kick of the ball - and, I suppose you could say, a big fight - preventing them from going through to the final in 1991.

Louth senior footballers went close enough to making a Championship breakthrough in the early part of the 1990s, only a kick of the ball - and, I suppose you could say, a big fight - preventing them from going through to the final in 1991.

There was another semi-final appearance the following year, but having led Dublin by four points at the break, and by a point with the game well inside the final quarter, the Declan Smyth-coached side fell to a late rally, Eamonn Heery, Jack Sheedy (2) and Mick Galvin getting the winning Dubs scores.

League performances around that period weren’t great, however. In the months in between those campaigns mentioned above, Louth were in a group involving Westmeath, Fermanagh, Sligo, Laois, Monaghan and Cavan, but by managing to only beat Sligo, no other team was worse placed when it came to the final tot, which is another way of saying the Reds finished last.

Just as well then that the competition was reconstructed for the following season. For this, Louth were placed with Sligo, Limerick, Galway, Antrim, Dublin and Derry, with positions at the end of the competition to determine which division teams would play in the following season. Louth garnered enough points – seven – to make the 1993/94 league’s Division 2.

I’d reason to research the 92/93 campaign, scanning among other things the programme for Louth’s match with Dublin. It was played at Parnell Park, and what struck me about the Dublin team was the number of future county managers that were included. Louth also had a few, mostly underage, and there many who looked after club teams.

The selected Dublin team was: John O’Leary; Chris McCormack, Gerry Hargan, Kieran Walsh; Paul Curran, Keith Barr, Eamonn Heery; Paul Bealin, Pat Gilroy; Jack Sheedy, Tommy Carr, Mick Deegan; Jim Gavin, Vincent Murphy, Martin Doran. Gilroy cried off and was replaced by David Foran.

Two Dublin All-Ireland-winning managers there, Gilroy and Gavin, while Carr has had spells with Cavan and Roscommon as well being one of the other pair’s predecessors at Parnell Park. Sheedy got a great result with Longford the weekend before last, but it has not been so good for Paul Bealin, the big man now in charge at Westmeath, having had spells with Carlow and Wexford.

O’Leary, attached to the Louth management team for a while during Peter Fitzpatrick’s time in charge, was looking after affairs in Wicklow for a time and in addition to having had a highly successful spell with Ballymun Kickhams, Curran was part of the set-up when Jim Gavin was running the Dublin U21 team, Dessie Farrell – a sub in that Louth match at Parnell Park – having since taken over from Gavin.

The Louth team on call 22 years ago was: Niall O’Donnell; Padraig O’Neill, David Mulligan, David Reilly; Peter Fitzpatrick, Stephen Melia, Ken Rooney; Seamus O’Hanlon, Kevin O’Hanlon; Davy McDonnell, Brendan Kerin, Colin Kelly; Stefan White, Cathal O’Hanlon, Pat Butterly. Donal Brady and Peter Kirk came in as replacements.

Dublin went on to win the league, beating Donegal in a replayed final.