Carlow manager not the job for me, says Pat Critchley

Carlow manager not the job for me, says Pat Critchley
Former All-Star Pat Critchley is not interested in Carlow football job. Picture: Philip Fitzpatrick

Former All-Star Laois hurler Pat Critchley has ruled himself out of the running for the Carlow football manager’s job.

Portlaoise man Critchley was linked with replacing Turlough O’Brien after guiding IT Carlow to a surprise Sigerson Cup final spot in January.

Critchley was also in charge of Carlow town outfit Éire Óg when they won the last of their Leinster club titles in 1998.

Joe Murphy, who was Critchley’s captain back then and guided Éire Óg to the 2019 Leinster club final, remains in the running now along with ex-Carlow coach Steven Poacher.

But experienced coach Critchley, who steered Scoil Chríost Rí to All-Ireland U-19 ‘A’ basketball success earlier this year and has managed the Laois hurlers and ladies footballers, said he isn’t interested in the Carlow job.

“It’s not for me, no, I wouldn’t be interested in a job at that level,” said Critchley. “For the last couple of years I’ve been trying to help out with juvenile teams in our club and between that and schools teams commitments it’s just not something that would work for me now.

“The link with the Carlow job probably came from being involved with IT Carlow, that was a role I really enjoyed but it suited me because of the time of the season.

“It was a short enough season with them and there wasn’t an awful lot going on with juveniles at that stage of the year.”

Carlow is the only senior inter-county team without a manager following O’Brien’s decision to quit after five-and-a-half seasons.

O’Brien enjoyed a 38% win rate in the Championship, a huge improvement on the 13% across the previous five years.

He also steered them to promotion from Division 4 in 2018, though county chairman Sean Campion has admitted that finding a replacement has been difficult.

Campion said they’ve talked "to a few people" about the job but revealed "there is not a whole lot of interest" and that they’re "waiting for others who may be thinking about it" to declare their hand.

The lack of movement almost a month on from O’Brien’s departure means Carlow could struggle to have a replacement installed in time for the local club championship.

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