Former Derry senior football manager Brian McIver has spoken of his frustration at not being in a position to ‘finish’ the job following his shock resignation on Saturday evening.
McIver stepped down after the Oak Leafers’ controversial defeat against Galway, a match after which Cork official Conor Lane was strongly criticised for his handling of the game.
“I always felt that this was a three to five year project and I would loved to have been in a position to help the players push on,” explained the Ballinderry man, “However, my frustration on Saturday has convinced me that now is the right time for me to step down. I know these players will continue to push on and I wish them the very best of luck in the future.”
McIver was appointed in September 2012 after spells with Donegal and Down, where he was on James McCartan’s back room team as the county reached the All Ireland final.
Despite the disappointing end to his tenure, McIver offered his thanks for the support he had been shown during his time as Oak Leaf boss.
“I would like to thank all those with whom I have worked over the past three years,” he added, “I’m indebted to my management and backroom teams for the dedication and commitment they have shown.
“My thanks also to our medics, John Bosco O’Hagan and sponsors, Specialist Joinery Group, members of Club Derry and Derry County Board for all their support and assistance.
“But most of all, I want to pay a special tribute to our players. They have worked extremely hard during my term. With continued hard work, I have no doubt that they have the ability and the commitment to bring them the success which they deserve in future.
“I would also like to congratulate the Derry minors and management on their Ulster title and I wish them well for the All-Ireland campaign.
“Finally, I want to thank the supporters. You gave me your backing and we did everything in our power to try to bring the success you deserve. I urge you all to get behind the players and their efforts in future. It can, and does, inspire them.”
The Derry County Board, who will this week begin the task of finding a replacement, said he had made real progress during his three years.
“It is with regret that we accept the resignation of our senior football manager, Brian McIver,” read a Co. Board statement.
“Brian McIver was ratified as Derry senior football manager by Coiste Chontae Dhoire in September 2012 as part of a three-to-five year strategic plan focused around player development, with the aim of restoring our competitiveness at the top level of senior inter-county Gaelic football.
“During this term, Brian McIver, alongside his backroom team of Paddy Tally, Jody Wilson and others have raised the level of team preparations to new levels in our county. Their ultra-professional approach to all aspects of team preparation is a baseline from which we must now move forward.”
The statement described how it will be the job of the new Derry manager to build on the work McIver and his backroom team have put in place.
“Throughout the last three years, Brian McIver - as he has done throughout his career in football management - has given young players their chance to develop and to begin to realise their potential within the competitive arena of inter-county football where the margins between perceived success and failure are often very fine.
“We are confident that with patience, hard work and the co-operation of all stakeholders, Derry football can continue to progress and to build on the rich legacy of Brian McIver.
“Brian has been not only our senior football manager but an ambassador for Gaelic football in Derry at all levels of the game within our clubs, schools and county squads. He has been a pleasure to work with at all times and is, above all, an absolute gentleman.
“We wish to sincerely thank Brian, his management and backroom teams, the players, physios and medics for all their efforts throughout the last three years. We recognise, appreciate and respect the huge sacrifices they have made for the cause of Derry football throughout that time.
“The process of appointing a successor to Brian McIver will now commence,” finished the statement.