Westmeath senior football manager Dessie Dolan has led the team to Division 2 of the National Football League and enjoyed two positive Sam Maguire Cup campaigns.

Westmeath await Dolan’s decision on 2025 intentions

Westmeath are awaiting a decision from Dessie Dolan on whether he will remain in charge for next year, following the county’s defeat against Derry in the All-Ireland series.

Westmeath County Committee chairman Frank Mescall informed delegates at last week’s meeting in the Mullingar Park Hotel that there is no decision yet on Dolan’s future. However, he will advise Westmeath chiefs in the near future as to his intentions for 2025.

Dolan and fellow 2004 All Star John Keane took up the reins following the departure of Jack Cooney two years ago, and Westmeath have produced some very good displays at the highest level. This year they won the Allianz Football League Division 3 title at Croke Park, defeating Down, and they will play in a very competitive division 2 next year.

Maryland’s Ronan Farrell, the county’s coaching officer, questioned if there is any definite news in relation to the Westmeath senior football management next year. Mr Mescall said the manager is recuperating.

“There is no indication yet; I’ve given Dessie time to reflect and time to recover. He has told me he won’t drag it out. In a couple of weeks, we will have white smoke there in relation to whether he is staying on or not,” he said.

The chairman felt the championship season had been positive for the county’s senior football side.

“We can judge the football on the All-Ireland quarter-finals and (the teams who have reached) the semi-finals. We see what has happened to the teams Westmeath ran so close. We came within a whisker of them all. Did we get the win? No. And that’s a little bit of a worry in a way; seeing as you are so close and you don’t get over the line,” he remarked.

“It leads to questions – what can we do to get over the line? Rather than basking in the glory of being so close; do we continue to be happy with hard luck stories? I think Dessie Dolan and the players would look for more.

“The league will prove to be very significant – playing division 2 teams next year. If we can stay in that division, close to the top of it, that will really bring on our standard. Meeting those teams over seven games, pre-championship time, can only benefit us.”

Colm Boland of Rosemount praised Dessie Dolan for the impact he has made.

“I’m amazed to see Galway and Armagh in the semi-finals, and we could have beaten both of them. We had Galway beaten here in Cusack Park only for a silly mistake. Dessie Dolan is doing a good job with Westmeath,” he said.

Frank Mescall agreed and also praised the commitment of the players throughout the season.