Kevin McStay retires as manager of Roscommon senior footballers

Roscommon senior football manager Kevin McStay has stepped down from his role.

He informed the Chairman of Roscommon GAA of his decision this afternoon.

"Earlier this afternoon I spoke with the Chairman of Roscommon GAA and informed him of my decision not to continue in my role as manager of Roscommon senior footballers," McStay said.

He said he has brought the team as far as he can and he feels a change of management should take place.

"Our annual review of the 2018 season was completed recently. Having considered the many factors involved in managing a county football squad, and unable to resolve enough of those factors to my satisfaction, I have decided that a change in management should take place immediately.

I feel I have brought the team as far as I can at this stage and a new voice and direction is now required. The handover to the next management group will be orderly and without fuss.

He paid tribute in particular to Seanie McDermott and Ian Kilbride, who retired from the team this year.

"I want to salute two players who have retired this year; both Seanie McDermott and Ian Kilbride gave their county outstanding service.

"Over the past 12 months this group of Roscommon players has won, or qualified, for all the competitions they can be reasonably expected to."

McStay added that winning the Connacht Final last year was one of the happiest days of his life.

"Winning the 2017 Connacht Final will always remain the happiest day of my sporting life.

The joy, satisfaction and fun it provided to us all - players, parents, management, officials and supporters, is something I will cherish forever. The mayhem and madness of those few days will always be a warm memory.

"I want to sincerely thank all of the players I’ve dealt with these last three years. I wish them well; they have given so much in their efforts to represent Roscommon, both on and off the field."

He said he was invited by the Chairman to stay on to see out the final two years of my term but has decided not to.

"After much consideration I have decided not to take up the Chairman’s invitation. I’ve done three years, every one of them challenging and sometimes exhausting.

"In reviewing my time in charge I have to acknowledge the inordinate amount of time I spent dealing with financial and facility issues, personnel issues, media issues and the various contentious and controversial events that kept arising over those seasons.

"Success is what we all crave but we must understand our reality too.

"While Roscommon is a proud football county, it is a small county with a limited playing pool and deficits in resources and facilities.

"The budget required to finance success at the highest level demands year-round attention. Facilities, catering, kit & equipment, professional expertise and, especially, travel costs are major financial drainers and they are placing a massive burden on voluntary officers that is often overwhelming."

He called on the GAA to offer more financial support to smaller counties.

These are the significant challenges the smaller GAA counties face. If the GAA is committed to ensuring all counties are, at a minimum, competitive, then they must be supported financially in a way that reflects the demands and the need for fairness, equity and solidarity.

Roscommon County Board confirmed the news on social media this evening.

The board said it accepted the Mayo man's decision "with a heavy heart".

McStay was appointed as a joint-manager of the Rossies with Fergie O'Donnell in 2015, and took sole charge in 2016.

He led Roscommon to the Connacht title in 2017, and helped them reach this year's inaugural Super 8 series.

McStay's also closed the door on potentially taking over the vacant Mayo job, as he is retiring from all senior inter-county management.

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