9 May 2014 No Comments by The Northern Standard

By John Graham

There was no doubting that Monaghan was the top team from the province in April. The fact too that they beat Donegal would help put an end to the talk that last year’s Ulster championship victory over Donegal was a flash in pan as Monaghan were again worthy winners on the big stage.

There can be no question as to the influence that Malachy O’Rourke has had since he joined Monaghan at the end of the 2011 season. To date, and he is only in his second year in the job, he has the annexed three pieces of silverware, the Allianz Football league division 3 title and promotion to division 2, more recently the Allianz Football league division 2 title and promotion to division 1, but the top prize was the long awaited Ulster senior football championship of last year that bridged a 25 year gap.

Malachy O’Rourke, winner of the April UGAAWA Award, said: “ I must use the old cliché that I’m accepting it on behalf of all the players and my back room team. It is great to be recognized, personally, but this is a really good, honest bunch of lads in the Monaghan panel and they work hard.

My selectors too, Ryan Porter, Leo McBride and Finbar Fitzpatrick have a huge input and I would include them too. After having promotion won the lads stayed grounded and finished the job by winning the division 2 final. The league is now won and we have to push on for the championship. We are back in training and looking forward to the Ulster quarter-final against either Tyrone or Down but I can tell you that won’t be easy.”

Among Malachy O’Rourke’s challengers, for the award, were his players Kieran Hughes and Dessie Mone. Others in the running were …

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