Tom Cribbin has resigned as Westmeath senior football manager.
The Clane man led Westmeath to a first ever win over Meath in senior championship football back in 2015 and enjoyed three years at the helm, but the side’s heavy defeat by Dublin this year, coupled with their failure to defeat 14-man Armagh has led to the end of his tenure.
Cribbin held crunch talks with the Westmeath County Board on Friday and he announced today (Saturday) at a press conference in the Mullingar Park Hotel that he is departing the scene.
Cribbin’s championship record was impressive: only Dublin beat Westmeath in the Leinster championship during his tenure, while there were wins over Louth, Wexford Offaly (2) and Kildare. It came after Westmeath endured a poor run of results in championship football and while Westmeath were twice relegated in the league (ending up in division 4) Cribbin clearly made an impact in the summer months.
Ultimately, Dublin would prove an obstacle too steep to clear as they defeated Westmeath in the Leinster finals of 2015 and ’16, before inflicting a heavy defeat on the Lake County this term.
There were high profile fall-outs with John Connellan and Shane Dempsey, while Denis Glennon also quit the squad before the Armagh clash.
County Board Chairman, Sean Sheridan, thanked Cribbin for his immense contribution over the past three years.
“Tom’s commitment, dedication and passion to advance Westmeath football is deeply appreciated and we want to acknowledge his invaluable input during his time. His work ethic and attention to detail was outstanding and he has made a major impression during his tenure.
“Westmeath reached two Leinster senior football finals in-a-row in 2015 and 2016, which ranks as a fine achievement. In 2015, Tom led the senior footballers to a historic victory over Meath in the Leinster senior football championship with a rousing second half display that thrilled all Westmeath Gaels. In championship football, we were very competitive under Tom Cribbin, enjoying Leinster Championship victories over Louth, Wexford and Meath (2015), Offaly and Kildare (2016) and Offaly (2017).
Prior to Tom’s arrival the county had enjoyed a lean period in championship football. The big challenge was to make progress in this area and that we certainly did under Tom Cribbin’s guidance,” he added.
The task now falls on Westmeath GAA to appoint a new manager and that process will begin when clubs convene next Wednesday evening in TEG Cusack Park for the July County Board meeting. John Keane, Westmeath’s 2004 and ’08 All-Star, who managed the under 21 side this year, is the early front-runner.