McCartan: I almost quit
Tuesday, 29 January 2013
DOWN boss James McCartan admitted that heavy defeats to Mayo and Donegal in last year's Championship inspired him to continue in the managerial hot-seat, writes Ciaran Daly.
“I suppose if Donegal had beaten us by two points and Mayo had beaten us by three I probably would've walked away, to tell you the truth," said McCartan.
“I'm back to try and put those right but obviously, that's a long way away. Those games were in Clones and Croke Park and obviously you have to get back to the scene of the crime to try and rectify those first."
For now, McCartan's focus is very much on Down's upcoming National League campaign. The Down boss is more than aware that the Mourne men are favourites for the drop and offered a quip to those doubting Down's Division One credentials.
He said: "Everybody seems to agree that at least the top seven teams in the country are in Division One this year. Obviously, we're being tipped to go down but we'll try and buck the trend like we have done for the last two years."
McCartan does admit that Down have been hit hard by absences and compared the Cork and Down teams of 2010 to illustrate his point.
"We could play Cork this year in the National League and from the All-Ireland final (in 2010) I reckon they'll have had two retirements - Nicholas Murphy, who didn't start in the final and John Miskella. But if we're able to field six of that All-Ireland team we'll be doing very well on that particular day.
“We've had to start again because we had lost players - Marty (Clarke), Caolan Mooney, Peter Fitzpatrick. Then there's Damien Rafferty and one or two others."
McCartan though remains optimistic about the Down squad he has at his disposal for the National League.
“Some of the guys that have stepped in have done well and it probably shows that we've more strength and depth than we thought. Some of them will be starting on Saturday night. We've a tough opener against Tyrone but we'll give it our best."
McCartan was speaking at the launch of Down's new jersey at the Canal Court on Monday.
The Canal Court Hotel has agreed a three-year sponsorship deal with Down footballers and hurlers from the U15 teams up to senior level.
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