TEACHER Kiltane’s John Reilly
THE 2014 All-Ireland Intermediate club football finalists, Kiltane, will begin their Mayo SFC campaign next weekend without a manager.
Despite months of hard work and effort behind the scenes, the Bangor Erris club have been unable to find a replacement for former Mayo forward Joe Lindsay, who stepped down at the end of last season.
As a consequence, a number of senior members of the Kiltane senior squad have been forced to step up and take training sessions, and to manage the team on recent match days in Division 1B of the Mayo Senior League.
Speaking to The Mayo News, Kiltane footballer John Reilly admitted that the club’s rural location in North Mayo has played a big part in their struggle to appoint a manager for the 2017 season.
“With the location of our club, geographically, we are quite far from a lot of areas,” explained Reilly, who teaches at Our Lady’s Secondary School in Belmullet.
“Nowadays, it’s such a big commitment for anyone managing a senior club, it’s not like days gone by when you could turn up a couple of days a week, now it’s a seven days a week thing.”
However, the 26 year-old midfielder was keen to acknowledge that the senior players in the panel really stepped up when called upon in light of the managerial crisis.
He also noted that Kiltane GAA club’s strong spirit and unity, and their rural ethos has helped to bond the playing group together as they prepare for a tough trip away to Ballintubber next Saturday evening.
“It means a lot to the lads and everyone has really pulled together, and the senior and more experienced lads, they have really stepped up,” said Reilly.
“They have taken charge, pulled things together, and they are doing a good job. They’re doing their best in the circumstances. All the players are very happy to have them involved with us.”
But with so many players being away from home in North Mayo during the week, only small numbers are available for midweek training, forcing the Kiltane panel to rely on ‘Whatsapp’ to keep in touch with the Dublin and Limerick-based players who train collectively.