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Sunday 22 October 2017

Kelly's on course to jump into Lake role

Former Louth boss Colin Kelly
Former Louth boss Colin Kelly

Former Louth boss Colin Kelly looks set for a rapid return to inter-county management - with Leinster rivals Westmeath.

He quit after three years at the We e County helm last June, but now it's understood his name will be put forward for ratification by the Westmeath county committee tomorrow night.

Kelly and Dublin's Johnny Magee, who quit the Wicklow hotseat three months ago, had been flagged as front-runners for the role vacated by Tom Cribbin in July.

Westmeath chairman Seán Sheridan could not be contacted, but local sources are convinced Kelly will be the latest in an unbroken sequence of non-natives to manage the county since Brian Murtagh's departure 25 years ago.

Ironically, Kelly's SFC debut as Louth manager resulted in defeat to Cribbin's Westmeath in 2015.

Legacy

He recovered from a disappointing maiden campaign to secure back-to-back league promotions, leaving a legacy of Division 2 football for his home county next spring.

However, they continued to endure early summer exits and, after falling to Longford at the first qualifier fence, Kelly announced that he would not be seeking another term.

"I feel Louth is now in a good position to push on and I look forward to going back to supporting the team as a proud Louth man," he said at the time.

Instead, it now appears he'll jump straight back into the managerial bear-pit with Westmeath, who reached successive Leinster finals under Cribbin while enduring consecutive relegations before bouncing back last spring with promotion to Division 3.

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