Derry future out of my hands claims John McEvoy

Derry senior hurling manager John McEvoy.
Derry senior hurling manager John McEvoy.

Christy Ring Cup Semi-final reaction

John McEvoy says the decision over whether he and assistant Johnny McGuirk will return for a second season in charge of the Derry senior hurling team is “out of his hands” following Saturday’s Christy Ring Cup exit to Meath.

McEvoy’s team produced a season’s best display but came up agonisingly short in the Athletic Grounds and McEvoy revealed he plans to hold a season review with the players before deciding on next season.

“I think that decision is out of my control,” explained McEvoy, “That is a decision for the County Board but I said to the players that whoever is over the team - if it’s us, it’s us - but this team has such potential.

“Let the County Board do their review; let the players do their review. We will go away and have a meeting as well and look at things in September and October.

“I have loved it (managing Derry). It has been a hard trip up and down but with Johnny McGuirk and Brian Delargy, I couldn’t have had two better guys. Then you have all the management team, particularly Terry Gray, Catherine, all the people behind the scenes, they have been tremendous. Those guys have made it easier.

“Have I enjoyed working with them? Yes, because they are good players and good people, honest people.”

The Derry manager also revealed he had never talked to the County Board about a second year when he was appointed in 2018.

“We never talked about it, it never came up,” he added, “We came in, managed the team and the County Board have been brilliant, people like Brian Smith and Stephen Barker, they have been fantastic.

“They backed us from the beginning and we threw ourselves into it. We learned lessons along the way but the performance out there (against Meath) gives a lot of heart going forward.

“We will meet with the players again, probably just to sit down and review whether we are going forward or not. We always meet with players at the end of the year. Today is very raw for that because this isn’t about any management team or any one player. There is a greater thing here.

“Kevin Kelly and Kevin Hinphey are doing a massive job with the underage hurlers so this has to be the start of something rather the conclusion.”