We're turning into the Premiership. You lose a game and you're looking over your shoulder

May 17, 2018

Stephen Wallace.
©INPHO/James Crombie.

Sacked Offaly football manager Stephen Wallace has said he had the backing of his players and that a soccer mentality is creeping into the GAA.

The Kerry native was relieved of his duties on Wednesday night after the fall out of his side's shock Leinster SFC loss to Wicklow at the weekend and days of rumoured discontent within the county.

Offaly County Board issued a statement saying they would appoint an interim management and later cited that the eight week suspension Wallace is serving for an incident in a Kerry club game also affected their thinking.

Wallace however has hit back and confirmed that the full panel had trained on Wednesday night and were committed to his management set-up.

"The players trained in the Faithful Field, and got on with their business," Wallace confirmed to RTÉ Sport.

"The players issued a statement, which they handed to the County Board chairman Tommy Byrne, which said 'We look forward to the challenge and improving our performance. We're very committed to playing for Offaly under the current management. We would also like to confirm that no player has engaged with local or national reporters since last Sunday's game.'

"I has the full backing from the players but I received a phone call from the chairman saying I had been relieved of my duties.

"The statement that was handed to the chairman has confirmed that the players were 100% behind me as manager and my backroom team, yet the county board have decided to remove me from my position."

Wallace is angry that a soccer mentality, whereby there is constant speculation over a manager's position is now starting to exist in the GAA.

"Is it because we lost a football game to Wicklow? If it is, we're turning into the Premiership. You lose a game as a soccer manager and you're looking over your shoulder. Is that what we've become?"

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