Duignan rounds on Offaly county board in searing Kevin Martin comments
Two-time All-Ireland winner with Offaly, Michael Duignan, has blasted the Offaly county board for its "short-term, reactionary" sacking of Kevin Martin on Monday night, May 20.
The decision came just days after Offaly slumped to their second defeat in the Joe McDonagh Cup, leaving crunch games with Antrim and Kerry in the coming weeks to avoid the slide to Christy Ring level.
Another Offaly legend, Joachin Kelly, has been installed as an interim replacement and Michael Duignan has gone on RTE radio to criticise the county board's broader mentality.
He said it was accepted in Offaly that "Westmeath, Laois and Carlow - counties like this - have better players than us now."
"They've moved ahead of us," he added, pointing out losses to those counties at minor and senior level in recent years.
"I think the county board, our clubs, our coaching staff and our players have to take responsibility. Along with Kevin. He's been manager and of course, some of it rests at his feet," he told Morning Ireland.
Duignan questioned what had changed in the three years since Westmeath beat Offaly by 14 points. "Very little," he suggested, "put in a different manager and expect different results."
"I know these people. In many cases, they're decent, well-meaning people. But we're not grasping it. Until we devise a plan that suits our demographicss, we're not going to improve. The people in power need to listen to the people who are willing to do that."
"I feel personally very sorry for Kevin Martin. One of the greatest Offaly players. A great teammate, a great friend."
In the short-term, Duignan urged the players to buy into Joachim Kelly who worked wonders in leading Coolderry to a Leinster semi-final last year.
"He's great charisma, he's great passion for the game. We keep going back 20 years looking for this Offaly pride but we have to do something."
Beyond that, he called on the powers that be in Offaly GAA to have a major rethink about the structures and take "a big, strong hard look at themselves."