IAN Lynam of Glen Rovers isn’t necessarily a reluctant manager, but he does admit that he prefers coaching to the other duties that come with the role.
In 2010, Lynam was manager as the Glen reached a first county SHC final in 19 years, losing out to Sarsfields. In more recent times, he was coach with Richie Kelleher in charge as the club reached five more deciders.
They lost again to Sars in 2014 before turning the tables in 2015 and then retaining the title with victory over Erin’s Own in 2015. The past two championships have seen them unlucky to fall to final defeats to Imokilly and then Blackrock, last year’s after extra time. With Kelleher now departed, Lynam has taken the reins again.
“I started off as coach with Tomás in 2008 for two years,” he says.
“Then I took over as manager in 2010 for two years and Richie was a selector with us. We stepped away then for a couple of years and both went back in 2014 and we were there since.
“I actually prefer the coaching side of it. When I went in in 2010, I was trying to do both of them and, I won’t say I found it difficult, but it was tough enough.
“The coaching side of it is something where you go in and prepare the sessions, then on matchday, you do it and go home and almost forget about it.
So was it a difficult decision to step back into the top job?
“It was and it wasn’t,” says Lynam, who will be joined by Graham Callanan, Gavin Moylan, David ‘Paddy’ Cunningham and Dermot McAuliffe.
“I wasn’t going to go back to where I was in 2010 – not that I was doing all the work myself but I was probably inexperienced on the managerial side of things. I should have been delegating more stuff but I wasn’t.
“I’ll be doing more of that in the year or two ahead.”
From a planning point of view, Lynam expects there to be more preparation time compared to the quick-fire nature of the 2020 club season.
“I don’t think it’s going to be the same scenario as last year,” he says, “where we got the nod and the championship was over a few months later.
“I did enjoy it though, the fact that we were given a structure and we knew exactly when we were playing. I do think that, this time, the inter-county will go first. Hopefully they’ll get good news at Easter, though I still wouldn’t see us playing until the end of August.
“This is probably a time of year when we should be bringing fellas in and blooding them in league matches and things like that. We had a decent enough minor team the last couple of years and we have guys knocking on the door looking for a chance. You just can’t do it at the moment.
“Hopefully we’ll get some good news next month.”
For the moment, Lynam – like every other manager – is waiting to get out on the field. He doesn’t see a point in over-loading players for the moment.
“We are doing Zoom calls but we’re keeping it sparse enough,” he says.
“I don’t want to be going down the route of doing those things two or three times a week, because fellas will get fed up.”
“We starting back training six or eight weeks ago. The lads were given a programme and it wasn’t too strenuous, just something that, when we do get back out, they’ll have some basic level of fitness.
“I do find that it’s the younger fellas who are struggling most. Guys who are living with their parents, they’re probably working from home, they’re not going out in the evenings because they can’t go training and they can’t go out at the weekends with their buddies.
“The older fellas, some of them are married, they still have the structure of home life and they have kids to look after, but the younger fellas are struggling more.”