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Thursday 21 March 2019

Farrell takes over as Na Fianna senior manager

Dessie Farrell. Photo: Sportsfile
Dessie Farrell. Photo: Sportsfile

Dessie Farrell is Na Fianna's new senior football manager.

He succeeds Philip McElwee in the role, who had also been part of Farrell's backroom team with both the Dublin minors and under-21s.

During a lengthy senior playing career with Na Fianna, Farrell won three Dublin SFC titles, during which time they made an All-Ireland club final appearance, where they lost to Crossmaglen Rangers in 2000.

The former Dublin captain played his last senior game for the club in December 2008, an AFL Division1 relegation play-off against St Mark's.

He had already begun managing and coaching at county development squad level.

Farrell subsequently managed Dublin to the 2012 All-Ireland minor title - the county's first at the grade in 28 years - having lost the previous year's decider to Tipperary.

He made the step up to U21 level in 2013, suffering a shock defeat to Longford in his first campaign.

However, the following year, guided that team to a comprehensive All-Ireland final win against Roscommon in Tullamore.

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In 2017, Dublin won another All-Ireland U21 title - the last ever before its regrading to an U20 competition - against a fancied Galway in O'Connor Park, Tullamore.

Speaking afterwards, Farrell announced he was calling time on his stint with Dublin underage teams but distanced himself from speculation that he could be the man to eventually succeed Jim Gavin as Dublin senior manager.

Farrell takes over a Na Fianna team struggling to reclaim old glories despite a spate of recent underage success.

The club won minor championships in 2014 and 2017 and also lost the '16 final to Clontarf

They won three U21 titles in-a-row between 2011 and '13 and another last year when they beat Ballyboden St Enda's in the decider.

However, Na Fianna haven't won a Dublin SFC title since 2001, the last of their three-in-a-row and haven't been in a final since 2005.

Only once in the past 12 years (2015) have they appeared in a semi-final and this year, having finished second to St Vincent's in their round-robin group, lost by seven points to Ballyboden St Enda's in the county quarter-final.

Senan Connell, Farrell's team-mate with both Dublin and Na Fianna, is understood to be part of the new backroom team on St Mobhi Road.

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