NIALL Stack has been appointed as the new Tullamore senior football manager, replacing John Rouse who stepped down in the wake of them surviving a relegation play off against Gracefield a few weeks ago.
Stack will be a popular choice as manager. He was a playing stalwart for Tullamore for several years. A strong running and very honest midfielder, he was outstanding as Tullamore won the Intermediate Football Championship in 1999 and soon graduated to their senior squad. He won Senior Football Championship medals with Tullamore in 2000, 2002 and 2004.
He wound down his Tullamamore career by winning a Junior Football Championship medal in 2013 and won a second junior football medal with Clodiagh Gaels last year – living in the Killeigh area, he transferred to Offaly's newest club a couple of years ago and his experience was crucial in them having a memorable win.
It was clear that he had managerial ambitions towards the end of his career. He was a coach with John Rouse as Tullamore won the Senior Football Championship in 2013. A garda, he has undertaken considerable extra studies in sports psychology and he came to wider attention for the work he did with former Irish soccer international, Cillian Sheridan, helping revitalise his career while the two were based in Cyprus – Stack was on a peace keeping duty there with the United Nations and linked up with Sheridan who began to score freely with Omonoia Nicosia in the Cypriot first division.
He has since worked as a sports psychologist with Tipperary senior footballers but apart from his obvious passion for the whole complex psychology arena, he also has vast knowledge about training teams.
He was appointed by a Tullamore GAA committee recently after beating another former Tullamore footballer, Mark Plunkett in a vote – a former Offaly senior football player and selector and an International Rules cap with Ireland, Plunkett managed Cappincur last year, keeping them in top flight football. Incidentally, Cappincur GAA Club have begun the search for a new manager recently, seeking “expressions of interest” via social media forums.
Stack has also been involved in managing football teams in his former alma-mater, Colaiste Choilm, in Tullamore, providing very welcome assistance to teachers there.
He has put a strong back room team in place, all former players that he would have played for Tullamore with. Gary Heffernan and James Keane are coaches and selectors; James Buckley is doing strength and conditioning and is a selector; Peter Martin is doing strength and conditioning and Pat Cooney will be the junior manager – Cooney managed Clodiagh Gaels to the junior football title last year.
Traditionally one of the main contenders in Offaly, Tullamore had a poor 2019 as they ended up in the relegation play off but Stack's and their aim for 2020 will be a straightforward one – to win the Dowling Cup.