Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Goodbye; Offaly in Crisis Manager Resigns Player Power Sees Richie Walk Away

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Goodbye; Offaly in Crisis Manager Resigns Player Power Sees Richie Walk Away

Article excerpt

Byline: BY PAT NOLAN

RICHIE CONNOR stepped down as Offaly senior football manager yesterday afternoon after days of speculation surrounding his position.

His reign ends after just five weeks in charge of the team with a number of players withdrawing from the county panel following the defeat to Roscommon in the National League last Sunday.

Twenty-four members of the panel met with county board chairman Pat Teehan on Saturday afternoon but the meeting was ended abruptly after they outlined to Teehan that they had no confidence in the management team.

The players then walked out in what is thought to be a pre-determined strategy after 22 of them had met the previous evening.

However a number of them called Teehan later to explain that they regretted the way they had handled the meeting and, surprisingly, training was then called for Walsh Island yesterday morning.

In his resignation statement last night Connor claimed that at least 19 players committed to attending the session but when it was snowed off the manager reconsidered his position and tendered his resignation to Teehan "to avoid conflict among the footballers themselves".

His selectors Ollie Daly and Mark Plunkett had stepped aside earlier in the week but had agreed to come back on board in the event of Connor finding a middle ground with the players.

In his statement Connor said: "While I regret this course of action I feel it is in the best interest of Offaly football. I considered my position earlier in the week when nine players contacted the county chairman withdrawing from the panel on Monday last.

"However, as three of those players were not on the official panel of 30, only two of those lined out against Roscommon, two more appeared as subs, while the other two were not part of the 24 man league panel for Sunday last, I felt that I could continue to progress Offaly football without them. …

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