By Damian Dolan
Ciaran Deely’s four-year tenure as London senior football manager has come to an end after the London county board’s management committee decided on Monday not to offer him a new deal.
Deely tweeted that he was “disappointed” to learn of the decision to “look for a different senior football team manager for next season”, but wished the players well and expressed his gratitude to the London county board for giving him the opportunity.
He added: “Am very proud of the work myself and my backroom staff have done in the last four years with a really great group of players. I wish them all the best.”
In May, Deely’s London side came within a whisker of taking Galway to extra-time in the Connacht Championship at McGovern Park, Ruislip, before losing by just four points.
They then lost to Offaly in Tullamore in Round 1 of the All-Ireland qualifiers.
Deely added: “Regardless of our differences, I would like to thank the London County Board for giving me the chance to be an inter-county manager at the age of 32.
Disappointed to hear today that @LondainGAA have decided to look for a different Senior Football team Manager for next season. Am very proud of the work myself & my backroom staff have done in the last 4 years with a really great group of players. I wish them all the best👍😊 pic.twitter.com/sTXia8U2pB
— Ciaran Deely (@CiDeely) July 2, 2019
“We were an inch away from beating Galway in [the] championship this year, but I accept it’s a results business rather than what you build.”
He also thanked his “incredible young and innovative backroom staff”.
The former Wexford footballer started 2019 as was one of the longest serving current inter-county managers.
Only Turlough O’Brien (Carlow), Kevin Walsh (Galway), Kieran McGeeney (Armagh), Colm Collins (Clare), Jim Gavin (Dublin), Malachy O’Rourke (Monaghan) and Mickey Harte (Tyrone) had been in their managerial roles longer.
Deely served a year under Paul Coggins as trainer and selector in 2015 before being appointed London manager in November 2015.
Statement: London Senior Football and Hurling managers pic.twitter.com/5fwwFc1k7T
— Official London GAA (@LondainGAA) July 3, 2019
His four years in charge did not produce a championship victory for the Exiles, but in 2018 the Exiles recorded their best league performance – finishing fourth – since their debut year in the competition in 1993.
One of the legacies of Deely’s reign will be the number of London-born players brought into the county panel.
He made London-born Liam Gavaghan his captain and in 2018 started seven homegrown players in the Exiles’ Connacht Championship quarter-final with Sligo at Ruislip.
In a statement issued on 3 July, the London County Board confirmed the departure of Ciaran Deely and also of Shane Kelly, who has stepped down as London senior hurling manager.