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Oisín McConville reveals Tailteann Cup was key factor in taking Wicklow job

Oisín McConville

Oisín McConville has admitted that he may not have become Wicklow’s senior football manager if not for the Tailteann Cup.

Armagh great McConville will take on his first role in inter-county management next year as Wicklow’s senior football manager, having worked with several club teams since his playing days came to an end.

Wicklow endured a disappointing season in 2021, as they were relegated to Division Four of the Allianz Leagues and failed to reach the quarter-finals of the inaugural Tailteann Cup.

McConville was speaking to RTE and admitted that if it weren’t for the new second tier championship he may not have taken the job as Wicklow wouldn’t have a realistic chance of silverware in the summer.

Oisín McConville on taking over as Wicklow manager.

“If my aims going into Wicklow are not promotion and winning the Tailteann Cup then I might as well stay in Cross because both of those are tangible for teams like Wicklow now,” McConville said.

“It’s a completely different job, I’d question if I would even be there if there wasn’t a Tailteann Cup, if there wasn’t something tangible for these guys to fight for.

“I do think that there is a hunger for success. I do think they’re unhappy that they’ve languishing around Division Four for some time, with little patches of improvement getting into Division Three.

“The consistency and sustainability has not been there. That’s the thing to work on.”

The Garden County aim to bounce back in 2022.

Relegation from Division Three of the Allianz Leagues will have come as a significant disappointment for Wicklow, although they did show some signs of promise this year.

Wicklow beat Laois in a high-scoring encounter in the preliminary round of the Leinster Championship, while they proved to be far too good for Waterford in the preliminary round of the Tailteann Cup.

While Wicklow’s season came to an end with an eight-point defeat to Offaly, they did give a better account of themselves in the championship than they did in the league.

McConville doesn’t have any experience with inter-county management, although he knows what it takes to achieve success at the highest level, having won an All-Ireland with Armagh as a player.

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