There will be much speculation about who is in line to take over as new manager of the Antrim Senior Football team after current boss Lenny Harbinson stepped down today at the end of a three year spell. The former St Gall’s player and manager, who led his club to All Ireland glory in 2010, has been at the helm since 2017 but following Saturday’s defeat by Cavan in the Ulster Senior Championship he has decided to take a step back.
When he took charge three years ago Lenny’s objective was to get the team out of Division 4 of the National League but despite his best efforts the Saffrons came up short on each occasions. Things were looking really promising early this year when a big win over Limerick in Portglenone on March 1st put them top of the table with just two games left to play. They were due to play Wicklow the following Sunday in Aughrim but two days before the game the country went into lockdown because of Covid 19 and everything took a dramatic turn.
By the time the game was played seven months later Antrim were only a shadow of the team that had beat Limerick so convincingly and they were well beaten by the men from the Garden County, and though they won their final ‘home’ game against Waterford (played in Dundalk) the results they needed to go their way did not work out and so they face yet another year in Division 4.
Last weekend they travelled to Breffni Park to take on Cavan in the Ulster Senior Football Championship. Things looked promising when they led by a point at half time, but they couldn’t push on to victory, despite creating several good chances and ended up four points short after a gallant effort.
This morning, the Antrim County Board made the announcement that Lenny had decided not to continue. “Lenny Harbinson informed Antrim county board today that he did not wish to extend his three year contract as Antrim Senior Football manger,” it read.
“Lenny has been a good servant of Antrim GAA both as a player and a manager. We would like to put on record our gratitude to Lenny and his management team for all the hard work put in over the last three years with Antrim Senior Football squad. We wish them all the best in the future.”
Just who is in line to take over is anybody’s guess. There will be lots of speculation and it will be very interesting to see who ends up taking the reins. Normally at this time of year any new appointments would have been made, but with the Covid situation there is great uncertainty when, or if, the 2021 National Leagues will get underway.
We at the Saffron Gael would like to wish Lenny Harbinson well in whatever he decides to do in the future. He and his backroow team have always been helpful and courteous towards us and we hope it is not too long to we see him back on the sidelines.