The new Monaghan senior football manager, Malachy O’Rourke, has an impressive CV at club and county level. The Enniskillen-based PE teacher, who had a lengthy playing career with Derrylin, Errigal Ciarán and Fermanagh (as well as winning a Sigerson Cup with St. Mary’s, Belfast), is best known for taking the Erne County to within a score of a first-ever Ulster SFC title in 2008. O’Rourke brought Fermanagh past Monaghan and Derry to the Ulster final, where they took Armagh to a replay and went so close to winning it on the first day. He remained as Fermanagh manager until 2010.
O’Rourke has enjoyed club success in several different counties, including Monaghan, where he started back in 2001, taking Tyholland to senior football for the first time in the club’s history. He had the impressive feat of ending a 68-year wait for a Derry SFC title with the Loup in 2003 and they went on to win the Ulster championship with wins over Bryansford, Crossmaglen and St. Gall’s. O’Rourke added Tyrone and Cavan SFC titles in 2006 and 2007 with Errigal Ciarán and Cavan Gaels. O’Rourke also helped out with Latton in their Ulster club campaign last year, when the Monaghan champions won a provincial championship match for the first time, beating Glenswilly, and he has remained involved this season, helping the O’Rahillys to another county semi-final.
Throughout O’Rourke’s time managing teams, he has been assisted by Leo McBride, who will once again join him, alongside highly-rated coach Ryan Porter. Sports Science graduate Porter trained Donegal from 2006 to 2008, during which time they won a National League Division One title and reached an Ulster final. His coaching stripes have really been earned with Dromore, with whom he has won three championships and six leagues in just under a decade, as well as reaching this year’s SFC semi-finals. A Monaghan link to the backroom team will be added.
O’Rourke and co. take over from Eamon McEneaney, who stepped down after Monaghan’s All-Ireland qualifier defeat against Laois in July.