McKernan unhappy at decision to replace him

OUSTED Down hurling boss Jim McKernan has slammed the county board decision not to reappoint him.

McKernan lost the job after two years, with Ballygalget man Gerard Monan appointed instead.

McKernan, from Belfast, said he accepted the board’s decision “with regret”.

“I feel my performance over this past couple of years should have warranted another term,” said McKernan.

“At the start of my tenure the team was in freefall, lacking confidence and belief. We have made great improvements around teamwork, coaching and fitness techniques with the team.

“In our first year we steadied the ship, achieving our objectives of sustaining NHL Division 2 status and competed strongly in the Ulster Championship being narrowly beaten in the final. In year two we continued to improve and develop. Our objectives of sustaining NHL Division 2 status was again met and I felt we were very unlucky not to achieve silverware in the Ulster Championship and Christy Ring Cups, being narrowly defeated in both finals at very late stages of both games. We have also introduced some exiting young players which really bodes well for the future.”

However, McKernan claimed he had taken the team “as far as I can without some internal changes of which the county board are aware”.

He continued: “I discussed these at length previous to the county board making their decision for hurling manager. I do not know if these discussions influenced their appointment. I believe these internal changes would have elevated hurling to the position it should be at within this county but I have had no feedback from the board on their surprising decision to date.”

Meanwhile, outgoing Wexford GAA president John Curtis has questioned whether the GAA is “going in the right direction.”

Curtis was concerned with the lack of debate at the Model County convention this month.

He said: “Having attended every Convention since 1961, I have witnessed hours of debate dealing with various reports, Secretary’s report, Treasurer’s report, and the various other reports. The discussions were open and frank, debates taking several hours, with the reports dissected as delegates sought out information and then proposed ways of improving the association down the road. I don’t know what is wrong. The question must be asked – are we going in the right direction?”

He added: “We used to have lots of debate on rule changes, formulated in the clubs, taken to convention and then to Congress. Now it’s vice-versa, for when they are debated at club level it’s too late. The sooner we get back to giving these powers back to the grassroots, the better.”


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