Former Kilmacud Crokes star Conor Deegan will take control of the Dundrum clubs senior football side in 2014. The Down native, who has two All-Ireland football medals to his name from the 90s, has taken over from Hugh Kenny at the club.
The announcement came following a year without silverware for Crokes. Their championship campaign ended back in October after a home defeat at the hands of Ballyboden, a side which Deegan then managed and has just recently stepped down from. The league saw them fare better, but they ultimately finished fourth in AFL Division 1, losing their top four semi-final to St Brigid’s, who eventually won the league title last week.
Crokes football chairman Sean Fox had warm words for the incoming manager following his appointment: “We are delighted to welcome Conor back to Kilmacud where he will lead a management team made up former Kilmacud Crokes senior footballers, and we wish Conor and all his team every success over the coming years.”
The other mentors will include Michael Leahy and Mick Jones, who were members of the club’s famous 1995 All-Ireland title-winning side.
As well as winning those two All-Ireland championships with the Mournemen, Deegan enjoyed both league and championship success while he was a Crokes player. He joined the Glenalbyn club in 1990, and 24 years later returns as senior football manager.
Chairman Fox was clearly pleased with the appointment he and his club have made.
“I am more than delighted. Conor’s been a member of this club for so long. When he finished playing, he was always going to go into management, but at that stage, he was not really ready for the Crokes job, so he’s gone off and got bags of experience under his belt.
“As manager of Crokes, there can be a lot of pressure, so the fact that Conor has gone out and cut his cloth managing Skerries Harps, Naomh Mearnog and Ballyboden, I think he is more than ready for the job at this stage.”
Despite leaving the club a number of years ago to pursue that managing career, Fox believed Deegan would always return to Crokes once he had gained that vital experience.
“Conor was always on our radar; he had been earmarked by us for the job at some stage eventually, so we just waited until the time was right, and after he stepped down from Boden, we thought this was the time.”
Along with bringing silverware back to the club, one thing the Crokes chairman is hoping Deegan can do is help the clubs younger players break into the senior team.
“I hope he can give the younger lads a push, the current crop we have there just under the senior team are exciting and hopefully Conor can help them develop.”