Kelly resigns Westmeath post

June 09, 2018

Westmeath manager Colin Kelly.
©INPHO/Patrick O'Connor.

Westmeath are on the look-out for a new senior football manager after Colin Kelly announced his resignation in the wake of this evening's All-Ireland qualifier defeat to Armagh.

The former Louth supremo spent just one season in the Lake County hot-seat, having succeeded Tom Cribbin last September. His reign started promisingly, but the wheels came off the wagon spectacularly after a surprise defeat to Longford in the penultimate round of the Allianz League cost Westmeath promotion to Division 2.

Since then, Westmeath have suffered four straight losses to Offaly (Allianz League), Meath (O'Byrne Cup final), Laois (Leinster SFC) and now Armagh for the second year-in-a-row in the All-Ireland qualifiers. His cause wasn't helped by a number of withdrawals, including that of vice-captain James Dolan, and a litany of injuries, with captain John Heslin being the most high-profile of the injured contingent.

In a statement released through the county board, Kelly said a five-hour commute for training was a major factor in his decision to stand aside and he strongly urged Westmeath to put a local man in charge going forward.

"It's a massive commitment for me; I've a young family getting to the age now - I've a young girl and boy playing soccer and Gaelic in Dublin. Today I was at soccer in Wicklow and I came straight to here. That's not an excuse; I've enjoyed my time here. I've a great relationship with Billy Foley and Pat Reilly (Chairman and Secretary of the County Board) and I've made some great friends among the players.

"We've had some fun along the way and maybe it's time for a Westmeath man to take it on."

Westmeath chairman Billy Foley thanked the former Louth sharpshooter for his contribution and wished him well in the future.

"Colin's commitment to Westmeath was outstanding right throughout the year and we really appreciate his and his team's efforts during the past year," he said.

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