Three Ballinrobe men are hoping to win an Intermediate title
THE new man in the Kilmaine Bainisteoir bib needs very little introduction around certain sporting grounds — namely Flanagan Park in his native Ballinrobe and Eamon Deacy Park, home of Galway United FC.
Murphy played all his Gaelic football with Ballinrobe and is currently the club’s coaching officer. He also won Mayo Under-16 and Under-21 ‘A’ championship medals with the South Mayo club and went on to play at senior level.
However, Kevin is arguably better known for his soccer coaching exploits.
An older brother of Alan Murphy — the well-known former Galway United player and manager, who also played senior inter-county football with Mayo in 2013 — Kevin has worked alongside his sibling quite a bit in recent years.
The new Kilmaine manager is a former Galway United coach/opposition analyst at both senior and Under-17 level, as well as working as both a coach/analyst with Oughterard alongside Alan more recently.
Last year’s beaten Intermediate championship semi-finalists certainly won’t be lacking in terms of attention-to-detail or preparation on the training ground this season.
Murphy took over from David O’Loughlin, who led the club to historic Mayo and Connacht Junior championship titles during his time in charge.
IT may not have attracted the same sort of attention as some other club appointments during the off-season but the return of Ford to his home club was a very significant development.
The 60 year-old is one of the most experienced and astute coaches in Mayo, having managed Castlebar Mitchels, Ballintubber and Breaffy at senior championship level since his last long-term stint in charge of Ballinrobe.
All three clubs reached county finals during his tenure, with Ballintubber claiming the Moclair Cup on his waych in 2014.
The former Mayo captain is held in extremely high regard in Ballinrobe, not least because of his impressive record as both a player and manager with the club.
He first started ‘officially’ managing the club’s senior team around 20 years ago, but also stepped in to take training and organise things during his playing days in 1985.
Ford, who replaced Pete Warren, is joined in the management team by former Ballinrobe players Colm Jennings and John Gilraine.
JUST seven years ago the Ballinrobe native was working as a ‘stats-man’ as part of the Hollymount-Carramore backroom team when the South Mayo club won a breakthrough county Intermediate title.
Fast forward to 2022 and Concannon was appointed as the manager of a Parke team that are chasing a first Sweeney Cup for the club since 1983.
In between, the ambitious young coach has worked with a number of underage teams in Ballinrobe as well as some South Mayo Academy teams.
Along the way he watched and learned from some other good coaches and managers, and developed a reputation for using modern training methods, being organised, and getting the best out of young players.
Parke obviously saw something they liked, and since taking charge at the start of this season, Concannon has led them to a Michael Walsh League title and a Division 2 league final, along with promotion to the top-tier of the league for the first time since 1984.
Two fellow Ballinrobe natives are also in his backroom team, Donal ‘Mossy’ Costello and Pat Guckian.