Dooley quits Westmeath

09 October 2008

Westmeath hurling manager Johnny Dooley
Westmeath are in the market for a new hurling manager after Johnny Dooley stepped down after just one season in charge.

The Offaly legend succeeded Seamus Qualter as manager late last year, having served as team coach during the 2007 campaign. He guided Westmeath to a National League Division 2 title last April, but couldn’t save his side from a shock extra-time defeat to Carlow in the Christy Ring Cup final in August.

Tullamore-based Dooley said he decided to step down due to personal reasons.
"My decision to step down as manager of the Westmeath hurling team was nothing to do with hurling and I’m very grateful to the effort and commitment of both the Westmeath hurling board and the players during my tenure," he said.

"My decision is purely based on personal reasons and family commitments. The job is extremely time consuming and I just can’t commit to it anymore. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of managing Westmeath and we had a bit of success winning Division 2.

"I think Westmeath hurling is in a decent position and hopefully they can build upon it in the future. Westmeath has a good core of players and hopefully they can unearth a few more to help them along."

The two-time All-Ireland winning added that he hoped to return to inter-county management some time in the future.

"Hopefully I will get the opportunity to return to management at a later date but it’s very time consuming and I just don’t have the time at the moment. You have to make choices and I feel I’ve definitely made the correct one."

Dooley’s predecessor, Seamus Qualter, who led the Lake County to two Christy Ring Cup triumphs in 2005 and 2007 and managed the Westmeath minors this year, is likely to come under pressure to return to the post.

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