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Jordan takes on Sligo

TOGETHER AGAIN Tommy Jordan and Jarlath Cunningham (right) will join forces in Sligo. Pic: Sportsfile

Crossmolina’s Jordan takes the reins in Sligo

Edwin McGreal

ACTORS are usually told to ‘break a leg’ as a means of saying good luck before a performance but it’s doubtful anyone used that particular expression to convey their best wishes to the new Sligo manager last week.
Crossmolina’s Tommy Jordan was appointed to take over from Tommy Brehony last Tuesday but using that phrase wouldn’t have been the most tactful.
Jordan, you see, actually broke his leg a number of weeks ago while playing soccer with staff at his workplace in Castlerea Prison, where he is a prison officer.
“Well, the story I was trying to get around was that I was trying to stop an escape, put my body on the line for the cause, but that didn’t work,” laughed Jordan yesterday.
Surgery followed on the leg but its an ill wind that blows no good and Jordan can spend his time recovering plotting the 2008 season for the reigning Connacht champions.
He will be joined on the sideline by John Kent and PJ Langdon, selectors under Tommy Brehony this year, while Jarlath Cunningham, his former sidekick in Crossmolina, will be involved in the training of the team.
“Basically all that’s happening is it will be a straight switch between Tommy Brehony and myself. We want to disrupt the set-up as little as possible from this year. John will do some of the training, Jarlath helped out last year and he will help out this year again.”
The 48 year old had previously applied for the Mayo senior job and readily admits that managing at inter-county level is something he has always wanted to do.
“It’s an opportunity to work at a higher level and as a manager that is something you always want to test yourself with. It’s always in the back of your mind about working at this level and it was always something I said I would give a shot if I got the chance,” he explained.
While Sligo are the defending Connacht champions, Jordan feels the most important aim for next year is that they play to their potential.
“You will try with any team you’re involved with to have them as well prepared as you can have them and that they can play as well as they are capable of playing. If we get that we will see where it takes us.”
Jordan, who led Crossmolina to All-Ireland club glory in 2001, was also manager of the Deel Rovers this year but says he had made the decision to step aside from that position before any overtures came from Sligo.
“That decision was already made. The (management) team in this year, we decided it was our last year. We thought it would be best to let someone fresh in. It just coincided that the Sligo job came up the same time as I was stepping back in Crossmolina.”
Should Sligo overcome London, as expected, in the preliminary round of the Connacht championship next May, Jordan will be faced with a familiar team on a familiar ground, Mayo in McHale Park.
“Playing against Mayo is something I haven’t thought about yet. I’ll always be a Mayo man but once you are over a team they are your priority. You will be focussed on that job.”
And as an aside last week’s appointment might have created a little bit of history. Tommy Jordan managing Sligo and John Maughan managing Roscommon could be the first time ever that two men from the same club have managed two counties in Connacht at the same time. Jordan admits it is something he had not considered when it is put to him.
“Myself and John Maughan, both being from Crossmolina and both being in charge of two county teams is something I hadn’t thought about. I suppose if you look back through the years it has hardly happened before. It’s a challenge for me now in Sligo and I’m really looking forward to it.”

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