Mickey Graham has stepped down as Cavan football manager after five seasons in charge.
The news was widely expected after Cavan's surprise Tailteann Cup quarter-final home defeat to Down last month. Before that, the Cavan Gaels clubman had led the Breffnimen to an Allianz League Division 3 title and promotion to Division 2 for next season.
The highlight of Graham's reign was undoubtedly his achievement in guiding Cavan to their first Ulster SFC title in 23 years in 2020 when the final against Donegal was played in November behind-closed-doors due to Covid restrictions. It avenged their loss to Donegal in the previous year's Anglo-Celt Cup decider.
When the former Leinster club SFC winning manager with Mullinalaghta took over in 2019, Cavan had just been relegated from Division 1. They fell all the way to Division 4 before successive promotions back to Division 2.
Graham was appointed for a further two-year term following last year's Tailteann Cup final defeat to Westmeath, but has now decided not to see out the final season with a statement from the county board reading: "After serious considerations, Mickey Graham has decided to step away from his role as Cavan Senior Football Team Manager.
"Mickey took charge of our senior footballers in 2019, during his term Cavan won an Ulster Title, 2 Allianz Football League Titles and competed in the Inaugural Tailteann Cup Final. Mickey is leaving Cavan GAA in a strong position where they will now be competing in Division 2 in 2024.
"Mickey would like to thank the players and his backroom teams for their commitment and dedication over the past five years. He would also like to thank the County Board and Clubs for their outstanding support during that time.
"Mickey brought great passion to Cavan football as a player, development squad coach and manager. Cavan Co Board would like to thank Mickey for his enormous contribution to Cavan Football and Cavan GAA especially during his time as manager of the senior football team. We congratulate him on his successes during his tenure and wish him every success in his future."
Mickey Graham has decided it’s time to step away:— Official Cavan GAA (@CavanCoBoardGaa) July 10, 2023
After serious considerations Mickey Graham has decided to step away from his role as Cavan Senior Football Team Manager. https://t.co/VykAIZ8Oep pic.twitter.com/byqCoz1zY6