Rory Beggan says Seamus McEnaney is a “positive presence” in the Monaghan dressing-room and is excited about playing under him for the first time.
‘Banty’ is back in his second coming in charge of Monaghan and while a few players still remain from when he was last in charge in 2010, life under McEnaney is a whole new experience for 2018 All Star goalkeeper Beggan.
“Banty is a very positive person to have about the place, and the players are loving training under him this last number of weeks,” said Beggan.
“I’ve never played under him but a lot of boys have and they know how good an operator he is, and it is not always about what happens on the field.
“There is a lot more to gaelic football than just playing football and I am looking forward to seeing how the whole thing operates.
“He is a very organised person as well and he can only have a good effect on the team, so I’m looking forward to the weeks and months ahead.”
McEnaney’s second term in charge begins tomorrow in Iniskeen with a Dr McKenna Cup opener against Derry — who are also under new management with Rory Gallagher now in charge.
The Monaghan dressing-room will be a very different place this year.
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Malachy O’Rourke departed after seven years in charge, during which time he led the team to two Ulster titles and an All-Ireland semi-final.
Veteran players Dessie Mone and Vinnie Corey have retired, with Gavin Doogan joining them in announcing his retirement recently.
“They are big personalities and it will leave a hole in the dressing-room with them going, but they made a decision that they’re happy with.
“The years are flying by. I’m 27 now and it seems like only yesterday that I was a young player in the panel. That’s not the case anymore and instead you have to look after the young boys in the panel now.
"It’s the best days of your life playing county football. There is a lot of negative noise about it but you’re living a healthy life and in a privileged position and it’s about maximising the time while you’re there.”
Monaghan just about survived in Division One last year but never got going in what was a poor year by their usually high standards under O’Rourke.
They beat Dublin in their first league game but struggled after that, and had a poor summer.
“We never got a run going at all in the league, we only won two games and we never had that sparkle in the championship either,” admitted Beggan.
“We didn’t win two games in a row all year which is something that never happened us before.
“We never got that sparkle or momentum going in the championship, and it showed, so hopefully we will start much better this year.”