Hackett eager for Westmeath to fulfil ambitions

New Westmeath senior football manager Brendan Hackett says that he sees his new role as not just that of manager - but also as a director of football within the Lake County.

The former Athletics Ireland CEO was appointed as Tomas O'Flaharta's successor last week and says that his job is not just about guiding the fortunes of the Westmeath senior football team.

"I would see it as (director of football) as well," he said.

"It was one of the things I said to Des and Tom (Farrell) at the time, that if you just see Brendan Hackett as just managing the senior football team you are wasting an opportunity, because Brendan Hackett can offer so much more because of the background that I have and the experience that I have and that's what I would like to share here."

Hackett revealed that he decided to put his name forward for the role because he believes that Westmeath possess the talent and potential to deliver silverware in the near future.

"I would regard Westmeath as very talented. If you are playing Division 1 (league) football and you have won Division 2 titles, you are very talented.

"I know that they are very ambitious...You have to have that. I personally can be very ambitious, (but) that's not going to get you very far if the people you are working for aren't equally as ambitious."

And Hackett revealed that a lack of ambition in some other counties dissuaded him from taking managerial roles elsewhere in the past.

"That's what attracted me particularly to this role. I have, over the years, talked to other county boards and in one or two cases I didn't pursue it because I felt they weren't sure where they were going.

"I got a very strong message in Westmeath that they knew where they were going and what they were about."

There have been rumours within Westmeath that some of the older players may call it a day, especially after Dessie Dolan (snr) was not considered as Lake County boss.

Hackett says that it is important to keep that talent and experience on board as much as possible.

"When you have talent that has been available here and there are a lot of them that have won Leinster titles, you try to keep that talent as best you can.

"I'd certainly be hoping that all of the people will make themselves available and at least come for a look before making their mind up.

"I always say don't judge a book by its cover. At the moment people are getting a sense of Brendan Hackett by what they are hearing from other people, but they are not actually opening the covers to see what is inside.

"I'd certainly hope that some of those players would come along and at least have a listen first," he added.

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