Human management

‘The responsibility lies with management’ – Billy Sheehan to decide Laois future after county board meeting

Billy Sheehan will meet County Council officials before deciding whether he should stay on as Laois director of football after a depressing year for the O’Moores which culminated in the Tailteann Cup defeat to Westmeath yesterday.

Heehan admitted that as manager he had to bear most of the blame for a short-lived season which resulted in relegation to the Allianz League Division 4, Leinster SFC’s surprise loss to Wicklow after he lost five goals to Aughrim, and now an early exit from the new second. – level championship.

Laois fought on until the final whistle at Portlaoise yesterday and had reason to regret several unconverted goalscoring chances as they succumbed to their Midland rivals 1-13 to 0-13. But Sheehan took little comfort in the fact that they ran Westmeath much closer than at last year’s Leinster SFC.

The Kerry native, who made a name for himself as a county footballer with his adoptive Laois, only took over as manager this season and inherited a team that was already on a downward spiral .

He was not immediately available for an interview after yesterday’s game but spoke at length to the Laois Today website afterwards. “It’s been almost six months to the day since we first met and it’s been a quick six months,” Sheehan said.

“I cannot fault the attitude and commitment of the players – everything they have done on and off the pitch has been honest and full of effort.

“They do themselves proud. The responsibility lies with the management, it is we who prepare the team – especially me.

“I have to take the majority of the blame. We looked at it every game – we tried to improve things, change things and improve the team throughout the year.

“In a short time, we just haven’t made it and that’s the disappointing factor.”

Reflecting on their latest defeat, he continued, “I’m not really interested in moral victories. Westmeath are a good team, don’t get me wrong.

“But I don’t think because we played Westmeath last year and lost by a big margin and then lost by three today, that’s grand – it’s not grand.

“We were firmly coming there to win the game and when we don’t then something is wrong.

“I have to go back and look at the areas where I hadn’t prepared the team in the right way.”

Sheehan also had words of gratitude for the dwindling cohort of diehard Laois who continued to offer their support in tough times.

“We started playing with Laois in 2005, the support was overwhelming,” he recalls. “The support we’ve had this year, although it’s a small crew, they’ve been a great support in very difficult times.

“It hasn’t been a good year for senior Laois footballers, and it was a year where it would have been easy for the fans to turn against me or the team – but the people who attend the games have supported the team 100%. ”