Seamus Hayes feels Carbery Rangers have right mix to defy the odds

Former star forward has taken over in Rosscabery and hopes to see the West Cork underdogs contest for honours again
Seamus Hayes feels Carbery Rangers have right mix to defy the odds

Seamus Hayes of Carberry Rangers in action against John O'Dwyer of Monaleen in 2016. Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

“AS soon as this job came up with my own club I was never going to say no,” said Seamus Hayes who was recently appointed as the new manager of the Carbery Rangers senior football team.

Hayes, who enjoyed a brilliant career with his beloved Carbery, Rangers said he is very ‘excited’ about leading the senior team this year. 

“It is a great honour. The club chairman Sean Hayes rang me about the role, and it was an easy decision. I was very honoured to be asked and I can’t wait to get going. I am very excited about leading the club this year. I had a couple of approaches from other clubs, but they didn’t really hold an interest for me,” he said.

Hayes featured for the senior team as recently as 2021 but had no qualms about getting involved in a managerial capacity so soon after stepping back from playing. 

“It was a little bit in my mind that I am friendly with some of the lads and my brother John is still involved but no it didn’t have any impact on my decision. I have the best interests of Carbery Rangers at heart. 

"I will do my best for the club. We are all united in our drive for success. Inevitably there will be times when players won’t agree with my decisions but that is part of the job no matter where you will be managing.” 

His younger brother John was recently appointed as a selector with the Cork U20 footballers for this season. He confirmed that John will be available for selection with the senior team this year. 

"John is always telling me that he will play longer than I did for the club, so he is definitely on board for this year. 

It will be later in the year when a few of the older players will come back. They will be doing their own individual work at this time of the year.

“John still has lots to offer. His best performance last year came against Nemo Rangers. With a bit of luck on our side that day we could have got over the line and we would have qualified for a senior football semi-final,” he added.

Carbery Rangers' John Hayes will return in 2023. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Carbery Rangers' John Hayes will return in 2023. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Hayes lined out for the Carbery Rangers junior footballers last year but intends to devote all his attention to management this year. 

"The plan is to totally focus on my senior job. I don’t think I will have the time really to be getting involved in playing as well. However, when the time comes it is very hard to say no when people ring to say there is a championship game on and would I tog out? I find it very hard to say no to the club." 

The new Carbery Rangers senior football manager will be assisted by all of last year’s backroom team, while he has added Dave Creedon as a selector.

"I approached all the lads who were on the management team last year and thankfully they have all agreed to stay on which is great news. This includes Brendan from Guerilla Fitness who does all the strength and conditioning, James Kingston, Mark Ronan, Anthony Roche, and Alan O’Neill. Dave Creedon has come on board as a selector. I am delighted he has agreed to come on board. He has serious knowledge; he loves the game and he will also bring an element of fun to the set-up.

"Denis McSweeney is our logistics man and kit man. You could not have a better man for the job. I have a very strong backroom team. They all bring experience and lots of expertise. 

STRIDES

"Continuity was a big thing for me. The club made big strides last year and I am aiming to keep the ball rolling on that front,” he added.

Carbery Rangers exited last year's senior football championship at the quarter-final stage after they succumbed to a one-point defeat against Nemo Rangers. He said he was ‘encouraged’ by their performances last year. 

"Huge strides were made. Last year was very encouraging. There was great work done behind the scenes. Certain things that had been lacking in previous years were improved upon. 

"We beat Carrigaline and Éire Óg in the group section following two good performances. The lads were very unlucky against Nemo Rangers who ultimately went on to win the senior county title. 

"We will be coming in as underdogs to the championship, but we will be giving everything we have to try and bridge the gap.” 

Carbery Rangers' Seamus Hayes has his shot saved by Ballincollig goalkeeper Ciaran Noonan in 2018. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Carbery Rangers' Seamus Hayes has his shot saved by Ballincollig goalkeeper Ciaran Noonan in 2018. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

He is greatly enthused by the talented young footballers in the club and the imminent return of key players after long-term injuries. 

There is a great crop of young lads coming through. Our U21 footballers won the championship a few years ago and they are progressing nicely. 

"A lot of those players have gained good senior experience in recent years. We have two players on the Cork U20 panel Peadar O’Rourke and Jack Kevane. 

"Ciaran Santry is coming back from a bad shoulder injury, and he will be a big boost. Brian Hodnett who got injured last year is on the mend which is great news. He will be a big player for us. 

"I am really looking forward to working with the players and getting the most out of them."

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