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Newly appointed Westmeath football team manager, Jack Cooney.
Newly appointed Westmeath football team manager, Jack Cooney.

Westmeath appoint new football and hurling team managers

Westmeath GAA have appointed new senior football and hurling team managers.

Jack Cooney will take charge of the footballers for the 2019 season, with Joe Quaid succeeding Michael Ryan as hurling team manager.

Cooney, who replaces Colin Kelly in the role, is the first Westmeath native to manage the footballers since 1992 and previously served as a selector under Páidí Ó Sé when the Lake County won their only ever Leinster title in 2004.

He was also part of Rory Gallagher’s Donegal backroom team and at club level has managed Rhode, Newbridge, and his home club Coralstown/Kinnegad.

“It’s an honour and a privilege to be, first of all, considered and then passed through by the county board and the clubs so I’m absolutely delighted now to be appointed the new Westmeath manager,” said Cooney.

“For years as a player representing the county and then being involved for a number of years with different management teams, it’s a lifelong interest and it’s lifelong passion and I guess the time has come now to actually take on the roll and I’m delighted to do that.”

Former Limerick goalkeeper Quaid is no stranger to Leinster hurling having managed the Kildare hurlers for the last three years, culminating in their Christy Ring Cup Final success this year.

Newly appointed Westmeath hurling team manager, Joe Quaid. 
Newly appointed Westmeath hurling team manager, Joe Quaid. 

He believes he’s the man to bring Westmeath hurling to the next level and has already set himself some ambitious targets for 2019

“I’m delighted to get it because there are team with potential but won nothing,” said Quaid.

“I’m hoping to change that over the next couple of years. That Westmeath are no longer a team with potential.

“People have said to me what would I regard as success in Westmeath? The fact that they got to the Division 2A Final and lost it and got to the Joe McDonagh Final and lost it. The only thing that would be a success would be to win both.

“When I met the selection committee the one thing I outlined to them was what were their targets and what I was setting for myself.

“What I want to do is to create a kind of a legacy so when Westmeath win 2A and the Joe McDonagh that when they go up they won’t become a yo-yo team; that we are in a good place to sustain that and to continue going. There is no point winning something and being happy with that.

“There is no point just making it to the first tier, what I want to do is bring through a conveyor belt of players that will be able to sustain it at a higher level.

“I’m not in the business of winning something and going up for the sake of it. We need to be in a good place to go up and push on from that. That’s my plan.

“We may have to put structures in place to guarantee that and that mightn’t guarantee success in the first year but so be it. We have a plan in our heads of what we want to achieve at the end of it.”