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Sunday 21 December 2014

Dunshaughlin sign up Christie

FORMER Sky Blue star Paddy Christie is all set to enter enemy territory - by taking up a new managerial role in Meath.

CHRISTIE, a full-back mainstay with the Dubs for close to a decade, has agreed to become Dunshaughlin's new senior football boss.

It's no surprise to see his management skills coveted beyond the capital, where he has already achieved consistent underage success with his home club, Ballymun Kickhams.

Many of the current Kickhams first team owe a debt of gratitude to Christie, who coached many of the team that started their recent Dublin SFC final at either underage or U-21 level.

Those players are now gearing up for a Leinster club semi-final against Kildare champions Sarsfields this Sunday, with the veteran Christie still part of the panel and set to take his place on the bench in Newbridge.

Dunshaughlin are craving a kickstart in 2013 after finishing bottom of their group (with one point from five games) in this year's SFC. The club's three Meath senior titles came in a hat-trick flurry in the early noughties, while they reached a county final as recently as last year, losing to Summerhill.

A statement on the club website confirmed Christie's appointment, adding: "Paddy is well known as a former Dublin footballer having played for his county between 1995 and 2006, winning three Leinster medals in that time.

He recently won a Dublin SFC medal with his club, Ballymun Kickhams. He has had significant success for a long number of years as an underage coach with Ballymun Kickhams and many of the successful championship-winning side of this year would have been coached and mentored by Paddy from U-10 up to and including U-21 level.

Paddy's father hailed from Rathmolyon and played hurling and football for Meath."

On the playing front, while Christie is unlikely to feature from the start against Sarsfields, there could be a recall for Seán George after the Dublin All-Ireland U21 winner recently completed an eight-week suspension.

Dublin-born George was an underage star with Laois but joined Ballymun a year ago and quickly made his mark with Jim Gavin's county U-21s, starting in defence when the Blues overcame Roscommon in last May's decider.

Elsewhere, Kilmacud Crokes have dismissed speculation that Hugh Kenny was set to depart the Dublin SFC finalists after just one season, insisting there has been no decision yet on their management appointments for 2013.

Crokes football chairman John Shovlin said he will be meeting the former Wicklow manager next week: "We are in 'down period', everyone is sitting back to see where they are going, so there is nothing confirmed, either in or out," Shovlin told the Evening Herald.

"Normally we don't confirm the full batch of selectors until the new committee comes in," he added. "Obviously the travel is difficult for him (Kenny), but he is hugely into it and hugely enjoyed it."

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