New era dawns for Down with Tally

New era dawns for Down with Tally

29 August 2018

PADDY Tally is relishing the challenge of guiding Down’s senior football team back into the limelight.

The Tyrone native was appointed to replace Eamon Burns — who stepped down in June after Down lost out to Cavan in the All-Ireland Qualifiers — as the new supremo last Thursday night and he can’t wait too get going.

He returns to the management set up in the Mourne County, having previously served with both Ross Carr and James McCartan, including during the run to the All-Ireland final in 2010.

Tally was most recently involved with the Galway senior football management during the 2018 league and championship campaign. He also notably led the St Mary’s College team to their exceptional Sigerson Cup success in 2017.

He was the trainer with the Tyrone side that won the Ulster and All-Ireland breakthrough victory in 1993, and has since developed a reputation as one of the GAA’s most innovative coaches. His management team will include Benny Coulter, Gavin McGilly and Stephen Beattie.

Coulter is one of Down’s most celebrated footballers. He won an All-Ireland Minor title in 1999, an Allstar in 2010 and a number of county titles with Mayobridge.

Gavin McGilly was joint manager of the Moy side that won this year’s All-Ireland Intermediate Club title. He and Stephen Beattie have worked with Tally at St Mary’s and are both former coaches with the Ulster Council.

Tally has already cast his eye over a few players in recent SFC and IFC games and is looking forward to experiencing the trials and tribulations of an inter-county manager.

“At the start of the year, my ambition working with Galway was to help get them to the Super 8s. I knew that would’ve been a good start for that squad and that’s what they achieved,” he said.

“You’d love to see in two or three years’ time that Down will be back playing in Division 1 of the National League. If you want to be really competitive at this level, you have to be playing in Division 1 against the best teams week in, week out.

“That’s where you learn the most. It’s tough, it’s hard and you’ll have days when things don’t go well, but if you want to be really competitive nationally you have to be playing Division 1,” he added.

“Down have a lot of hard work to do before that. They have to stop the slide and get back into Division  2 and be competitive in the Ulster Championship.” 

Down GAA chairman Sean Rooney welcomed Tally’s appointment. “We wish Paddy and his team well,” he said.

“We promise them our full support and we hope that everyone can now work together to herald a new awakening for Down football.

“Paddy’s reputation and record as a coach and manager were important factors in our choice and we are delighted that he is now on board.”