Down footballer Sean Ward believes that the county should have two
goals this year and they are to stay in division 1 of the NFL and
to win the Ulster title.
Sean feels that the current side have failed to build on their good
run in 2010, but he feels that the quality is still there in the
Their league campaign has not got off to the best of starts, but
Sean is confident that they can turn things around.
In fairness, they are not playing badly. I was talking to
Liam Doyle after the loss to Tyrone and they were very disappointed
to lose that game, revealed Sean.
I think it is essential to stay in division 1. The team has
not really progressed in the last two years and they need to pick
up some silverware.
In my opinion, Ulster is the hardest province to win, but
I do think that Down should make that a priority this year. That
would certainly be seen as a sign of progress. There is no doubt
that they are still a top ten team in the country and if they can
get their momentum going and adapt a winning mentality, they can
do very well.
Since hanging up his boots a few years back, Sean has turned to
management. His first foray into manning the line had resounding
success as he guided his native club Burren to five county under-21
titles in a row, while in between winning two Ulster titles at the
We had great success with the under-21s. This was the culmination
of the hard work of not only the players, but the people that had
coached them the whole way up.
Last year, Sean took the step into senior management, but surprisingly
it wasn't with Burren, but another Down side, St John's.
Burren decided that they wanted an outside man for the job
and I've no problem with that. I told the chairman that whatever
he thought was best for the club and that's the way I feel.
I've enjoyed my time with St John's, it's a different approach
and they are a great club. We gained promotion to division 2 last
year and this is a step up for them this year, but I'm confident
that they can do well.
So as to his GAA future, Sean remained coy about the Burren job
and indeed the Down manager's role. Look you never say never,
but with regards the county, I've a lot to prove at club level first.
You have to earn the respect of your peers, before you can be even
considered for a job like that. Anyway, I think Wee James will be
there for a while yet.
I would like to return at some stage and manage the club,
hopefully I will get the opportunity to do so, but for the moment
all my focus is on St John's.
Sean is employed by Murdock Builder's Merchants, which was originally
established in 1982 with the set-up of Newry Building Supplies Ltd
on the Rathfriland Road in Newry. Murdock Builder's Merchants growth
over the last 30 years has been a combination of organic and by
acquisition, and they are currently recognised as a leading supplier
of building materials and timber in the Irish Market Place.