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'Malachy owes Monaghan nothing' | Conor McManus on the legacy of Malachy O'Rourke

It's hard to understate the impact of Malachy O'Rourke on Monaghan football but marquee forward C...



Football

'Malachy owes Monaghan nothing' | Conor McManus on the legacy of Malachy O'Rourke

It's hard to understate the impact of Malachy O'Rourke on Monaghan football but marquee forward Conor McManus was quick to heap praise on his former manager. 

Speaking to Off The Ball, the Monaghan forward spoke about how he took the county from rock bottom to being one of the best teams in the country.

"He's been brilliant for Monaghan football, Malachy came in at the end of 2012 and we had just been relegated to Division Three," McManus said.

"It was probably as far down as Monaghan could have gone and we probably hit rock bottom at that stage. Malachy came in and got us into a habit of winning."

During his seven years with the county, O'Rourke won two Ulster titles and guided them up through the divisions from Division Three to Division One.

"He created a culture of winning games and it was a much more positive dressing room from previous years."

"We had successive promotions from Division Three to Division Two and then to Division One and we've been in Division One since."

"Malachy owes Monaghan nothing there's no doubt about that and he's going to be a loss to Monaghan football," the All-Star forward said.

After a disappointing season which saw Monaghan crash out of the qualifiers to Armagh, O'Rourke felt it was time to step away.

As McManus outlined he has done more than enough to set them up for the future.

"To be fair to Malachy during the seven years he was there we picked up an Ulster minor title and an Ulster under-21 title as well."

"There has been very good work done in the background and the foundations are there for Monaghan hopefully for the next five or 10 years," the 32-year-old said.

Even with the departure of O'Rourke, McManus wasn't too downbeat for what the team can do next season.

"Monaghan football is in a decent place, yeah this year has been disappointing we got to a semi-final the year before and we were hoping to kick on"

"I don't think you can be too despondent about it though, there are reasons for optimism," he said.

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