Joint ticket of Feargal Logan and Brian Dooher
When Tony McEntee was appointed Sligo manager last November, he joined an illustrious list of All-Ireland winning club managers chasing that same All-Ireland glory on the inter-county stage.
It’s a logical career path to the top but it’s been noticeable how many football managers who guided clubs to All-Ireland finals subsequently became inter-county managers over the last three decades.
Billy Morgan (Nemo Rangers – Cork), Tommy Lyons (Kilmacud Crokes — Offaly/Dublin), John Evans (Laune Rangers — Tipperary/Roscommon/Wicklow), Joe Kernan (Crossmaglen — Armagh/Galway), John Maughan (Crossmolina Deel Rangers – Clare, Mayo, Fermanagh, Roscommon, Offaly), Brian McIvor (Ballinderry — Donegal/Derry), Frank Doherty (Caltra — Clare), Pat O’Shea (Dr Crokes — Kerry), Lenny Harbisson (St Gall’s — Antrim), Micheál McDermott (Kilmurry Ibrickane — Clare), Kevin McStay (St Brigid’s — Roscommon), Stephen Rochford (Corofin — Mayo), Andy McEntee (Ballyboden St Enda’s — Meath), Micky Moran (Slaughtneil, Kilcoo – Sligo, Derry, Donegal, Mayo, Leitrim), Tony McEntee (Crossmaglen – Sligo).
The late Eugene McGee was the original trailblazer, having led UCD to successive All-Ireland club titles in 1974 and 1975 before managing Offaly to the historic 1982 title.
In the last three decades, Billy Morgan and Joe Kernan are the only managers to have achieved that rare managerial All-Ireland double at club and inter-county level.
However, Pat O’Shea very nearly pulled off that feat in the same year in 2007. O’Shea managed Kerry to the 2007 All-Ireland title, just six months after his Dr Crokes side narrowly lost the All-Ireland club final to Crossmaglen after a replay.
Mickey Harte also nearly hit that incredible double in 2003; his Errigal Ciaran team lost an All-Ireland semi-final to Nemo before Harte led Tyrone to their first All-Ireland senior title that September.
In the current game, only three managers have now that opportunity to try and combine that unique achievement of managing an All-Ireland club winning side with an inter-county senior team – Maughan, Andy McEntee and Tony McEntee.
But those odds are astronomically long for the managers of Offaly, Meath and Sligo.