By Damian Dolan
London GAA’s senior hurling team is looking for a new manager after Fergus McMahon confirmed his decision to step down from the role after four years in charge.
McMahon guided the Exiles to a Christy Ring Cup final appearance in June, only to lose out to Kildare, having reached the semi-final stage in each of the three previous campaigns.
This year, McMahon also presided over a National Hurling League campaign which saw the Exiles retain their Division 2A status with a final round ‘winner-takes-all’ victory over with Kildare.
But a combination of work commitments and a feeling that it was “time to let someone else in” led McMahon to confirm his decision to step down to London County Board secretary Mark Gottsche last week.
“It was a difficult decision; I love hurling, I love the GAA and I enjoy it,” McMahon told the Irish World. “Four years is a long time and it [the role] takes up an awful lot of your time.”
McMahon’s selectors, Mick Gordon and Michael Dwyer, had already confirmed their decisions to stand down from their positions for personal reasons.
One more shot
“When the structure of the Christy Ring changed we said we’d give it one more shot and obviously we got to Croke Park,” said McMahon.
“It would have been the ideal way to finish for all of the work everyone put in. But on the day it just didn’t happen for us.”
One nomination for the manager’s role has already been put forward to the county board, and clubs now have until 24 September to submit further nominations.
McMahon believes his successor, whoever that is, will be inheriting be a “good panel”, if the players can “give the required amount of commitment”.
“There’s some fantastic hurlers in London at the moment. There’s a couple of clubs who are really strong and have top class hurlers,” he said.
“It’s a massive ask because first and foremost people are in London to work.
“It’s not like any county at home in Ireland, it’s a logistical nightmare. Between players living all over London, home and away matches, it’s a big job. But I’m sure whoever gets it will be up for it.
“But it’s not something you can do alone – you need four or five people at least.”
The news comes after Ciaran Deely was ratified as London senior football manager for a fourth year. His backroom and budgets will now be confirmed.
Deely said: “Delighted to be ratified by the Executive and Clubs of London GAA to continue for a fourth season as manager of this great group of lads.
“New cycle begins of developing young London born players and integrating some top players from Ireland. Loads of work to do- can’t wait.”