McStay resigns as Roscommon football manager

Story by Kieran Galvin

Wednesday, 5th September, 2018 6:43pm

McStay resigns as Roscommon football manager

Kevin McStay - has stepped down as Roscommon manager. Photo: Ann Hennessy.

Kevin McStay has resigned from the role of Roscommon senior football manager.

Roscommon GAA confirmed the news a short time ago on Twitter, with a tweet saying: "It is with a heavy heart that we confirm that Kevin McStay has stepped down as Roscommon Senior Team Manager".

McStay led the Rossies to the 2017 Connacht senior football title with a memorable victory over Galway in the provincial final.

Galway overturned that result in this year's Connacht decider, but Roscommon still qualified for the inaugural Super 8s series thanks to a thrilling win over Armagh in the All-Ireland qualifiers.

However, the Super 8s proved highly disappointing as the Rossies were unable to recover from a heavy defeat to Tyrone in their opening game. A subsequent loss to Donegal (a game which led to a suspension for McStay) knocked Roscommon out of contention to progress, and they ended the series with a defeat to Dublin in a 'dead rubber' clash.

McStay's resignation comes following speculation that a number of players would not be making themselves available for inter-county football in the 2019 season.

The former Mayo star twice guided Roscommon to promotion to Division 1 of the Allianz Football League, including this year, and the Rossies will operate in the top flight next season.

During his time as St Brigid's manager, McStay led the Kiltoom side to the 2013 All-Ireland club title.

Following Stephen Rochford's departure as Mayo manager, McStay's name was inevitably linked to the vacancy in his native county.

However, in his statement released this evening, McStay said, "today marks my retirement from senior inter county football management". This would suggest he's not interested in being considered for the Mayo manager job at this stage. 

The following points are included in McStay's lengthy statement:

"Earlier this afternoon I spoke with the Chairman of Roscommon GAA and informed him of my decision not to continue in my role as manager of Roscommon senior footballers.

"I want to confirm that our Chairman, on the day the season ended, gave me his and his executive’s full backing and asked that I stay on to see out the final two years of my term. I deeply appreciated that prompt and positive support.

"So, after much consideration I have decided not to take up the Chairman’s invitation. I’ve done three years, every one of them challenging and sometimes exhausting. In reviewing my time in charge I have to acknowledge the inordinate amount of time I spent dealing with financial and facility issues, personnel issues, media issues and the various contentious and controversial events that kept arising over those seasons.

"Success is what we all crave but we must understand our reality too. While Roscommon is a proud football county, it is a small county with a limited playing pool and deficits in resources and facilities. The budget required to finance success at the highest level demands year-round attention. Facilities, Catering, Kit & Equipment, Professional expertise and, especially, Travel costs are major financial drainers and they are placing a 
massive burden on voluntary officers that is often overwhelming.

"These are the significant challenges the smaller GAA counties face. If the GAA is committed to ensuring all counties are, at a minimum, competitive, then they must be supported financially in a way that reflects the demands and the need for fairness, equity and solidarity.

"I am privileged to say the Roscommon GAA family entrusted their team to me for three years. We had our share of special days, mostly grand days and of course, some very tough days. But overall, on reflection, these have been three of the greatest years of my life. Leaving the safety of the pundits chair for the passion and glory of the dressing room and football field is a decision I’ll never regret. However, today marks my retirement from senior inter county football management.

"I look forward to a less stressful period now, concentrating more on work and family life and to supporting Roscommon and Mayo teams in 2019 and beyond."

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