Dessie Dolan has been confirmed as Westmeath’s senior football manager for 2023 after a county committee meeting on Wednesday night.
The Garrycastle club man is recognised as one of Westmeath’s greatest footballers, as he played for his county across a 16-year span and scored 15 goals and 449 points during that time.
Dolan will replace the outgoing Jack Cooney, who led Westmeath to victory in the inaugural Tailteann Cup final in July, having spent four years in charge of the county.
Although Cooney’s departure is a loss to Westmeath, Dolan was part of the backroom team that oversaw the Tailteann Cup triumph and the county board will hope for a smooth transition between managers.
Fellow Westmeath football great John Keane is set to continue in his role as the county’s coach, and himself and Dolan have plenty of experience with each other after a long playing career together.
Dolan is one of our county’s greatest ever footballers and played with the senior team from 1998-2014, scoring 15-449.
All associated with Westmeath GAA wish Dessie the very best of luck for the year ahead.#iarmhiabu#westmeathgaa#maroonandwhitearmy pic.twitter.com/adEMG6Y9i0
— Westmeath GAA (@westmeath_gaa) September 21, 2022
Dessie Dolan will hope to build on a successful 2022.
Dolan is taking charge of his native county at a good time, as Westmeath showed plenty of signs of promise in 2022, which culminated in the Tailteann Cup triumph.
Westmeath narrowly missed out on promotion to Division Two of the Allianz Leagues, which would have seen them play in the All-Ireland qualifiers, but their third place finish set the Lake County up for a Tailteann Cup run.
The county was aiming for higher honours first of course, but they suffered a three point defeat at the hands of Kildare in the Leinster semi-final after making light work of Longford in the quarter-final.
Cooney then oversaw Westmeath win four consecutive games against Laois, Carlow, Offaly and finally Cavan in the Tailteann Cup final to bring home silverware.
Dolan will be hoping to see Westmeath kick on again and challenge for the Leinster Championship title, which he won as a player back in 2004.