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Giller should stay: O'Neill

PAT O'NEILL has urged Pat Gilroy to do what he never did - stay on as Dublin manager and attempt to retain Sam Maguire.

Gilroy will decide in the coming days whether to extend his tenure beyond this year after meeting his employers (Dalkia) but O'Neill - who walked away after leading the Dubs to All-Ireland glory in 1995 - says the will of the players could persuade Gilroy to accept another term of office.

"I believe he should stay on, but whether he will be able to is a personal decision that he'll have to make himself," said O'Neill. "He's a young man, he has a busy lifestyle in terms of work and business, and running inter-county teams is a big job. So it's a personal decision, and there's no point going into it if you don't have full commitment to it.

"I believe there will be a major player-power push to keep him there, because he is extremely popular amongst them." O'Neill also reckoned that Dublin's younger age-profile in comparison of that of the '95 vintage would give them a better chance of putting back-to-back All-Irelands together.

"It's very hard to win All-Irelands, and we certainly know that in Dublin. But they're a young team, so that's on their side. With winning All-Irelands comes distractions and other aspects come into life. And people, because of the commitments involved, have to take a new look at things. All of those factors will have to come into play, but for the moment, we're there."

TOM COFFEY has branded the Offaly county board "unprofessional" after pulling out of the race to become the next Faithful county senior football manager.

Coffey was shortlisted to replace Tom Cribben alongside former Dublin player, Jack Sheedy, and Stephen Darby, but has now withdrawn, citing the prolonged period of deliberation as the reason for his exit."It's now heading for the middle of October.

"Offaly are out of the championship since early July and the previous manager (Tom Cribbin) stepped down at the end of July," said Coffey.

"This process is taking far too long. The interviews took place two weeks ago and there is still no word, no decision. It's unprofessional and I have informed the chairman (Pat Teehan) that I am withdrawing," he added.

DOWN football received an unexpected boost yesterday with the news of Jamie O'Reilly's return home from AFL side Richmond Tigers.

The Mourne men have been decimated by the loss of big prospect, Caolan Mooney, and this week, Marty Clarke's decision to return to Collingwood but O'Reilly has now decided to break off negotiations with the Tigers to return to finish his business Degree at Queen's University.