Former Dublin footballer Jason Sherlock - continuing Westmeath role in 2024. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Sherlock still on board in boost for Westmeath

Westmeath's plans for the 2024 football season have been boosted by the news that Jason Sherlock is staying on board as part of Dessie Dolan's backroom team.

The former Dublin star was a notable addition to the Westmeath set-up for the 2023 campaign, which saw Dolan's charges perform impressively in the new group stages of the All-Ireland SFC.

There had been some doubt over whether 1995 All-Ireland medal winner Sherlock would remain with the Lake men and when Dolan was ratified by the Westmeath County Board for a second year in October, his backroom team had yet to be confirmed.

However, it has now emerged that Sherlock will be staying on along with former Westmeath stars John Keane (Rosemount) and Cathal Mullin (Garrycastle), with Milltown's Mick Dillon also part of the management team.

In 2023, Westmeath were unable to achieve promotion from Division 3 of the Allianz Football League and they let a winning position slip in their Leinster quarter-final defeat to Louth.

When it came to the Sam Maguire Cup group stages, however, Westmeath confounded expectations by pushing Armagh very close at the Athletic Grounds and drawing with Tyrone. Indeed, John Heslin missed a late free against the 2021 All-Ireland champions which would have sealed a famous victory.

Westmeath must plan for the 2024 campaign without Sam Duncan, who was part of the first-choice midfield partnership alongside Athlone's Ray Connellan this year.