2 March 2012 No Comments by The Northern Standard

KEVIN CARNEY writes for the standard.
Ulster – the most testing and unnerving province. One thing’s sure, as Football gets a spring in its step, if Eamonn McEneaney manages to steer Monaghan to provincial glory this year, it’ll be the ultimate vindication of county board’s trust in one of their own.
McEneaney has been there, done that and worn the jersey and is regarded by the powerbrokers of football locally as a safe pair of hands, hence his appointment to succeed another native, Seamus McEnaney.
The ‘blayney man was cool, calm and collected as a player. His managerial personna isn’t a million miles away from his alter ego.
In simple terms, he isn’t the sort of chap you’d expect to generate a stray spark next to a can of petrol. He’s seldom seen, at a match, on the cusp of ‘losing it’.
Even in the amateur world of Gaelic games, the make-up of a team and its characteristics invariably mirrors that of its manager and Monaghan look like a team that feel they have the talent to succeed and while they won’t look for trouble, won’t run away from it either.
In his days as a player or in latter years as a manager, we’ve seldom seen a situation, at club or intercounty level, where McEneaney’s anger or frustration demanded a quick dip in iced water.
Seeing that discipline is a huge variable factor in an Anglo Celt Cup-winning equation, Monaghan’s manager is well positioned to preach the gospel in that regard.
McEneaney’s self-discipline and studied approach is just the lead a Monaghan team in transition needs at the tiller.
Monaghan haven’t a massive panel so they can do without fellas going for an early shower.
When past managers have gone to the well in recent seasons to make reparations for suspensions, the wheels have invariably come off the wagon so keeping everyone on the right side of the law is imperative.
Getting Tommy Freeman back on board is a huge boon for Monaghan. It makes the prospect of unwanted trips to the well that bit less likely.
The return of the Magheracloone ace return to the fold is akin to Kildare capturing the services of Cavan’s Sean Johnston . . .and some.
It must have felt to McEneaney like all his Christmases and birthdays had come together when Freeman made it known that he was ripe for a return to the fast lane:
“Tommy has been a great servant to Monaghan football …

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