John Evans the new Wicklow football manger is a native of Killorglin in county Kerry. He cut his teeth in management with Laune Rangers and had plenty of success including leading them to back to back county titles in 1995 and 96. All-Ireland club success was also achieved in 1996 with a win over Eire Óg from Carlow in Croke Park.
He moved to inter county management with Tipperary where his involvement helped them to their first Munster under 21 football title in 2010 where they defeated Kerry in the final. This followed back to back promotions in the national football league with Tipp in 2009 and 2008 and they were well suited to football at that level under Evans with his development of players crucial to their improvement.
He left Tipperary in early 2012 and spent that summer as part of Seamus McEneaneys backroom team in Meath. He took up the Banisteoir role with Roscommon in November 2012 where on coming in to the position he promised he would take Roscommon back to the top table and have them fighting once again for major honours. A prediction that was scoffed at by many but the Kerry man departed in August 2015 with the Rossies in division 1 and many were quick to apportion some credit his way after Roscommon lifted the Connacht title this year with the structures and belief instilled in to the young players in their formative years under Evans bearing fruit.
Wicklow will hope that the Kerry man can bring some of that magic to the Garden county and with the promising youngsters now coming from the hard work done by the coaches in the GCA academy in Ballinakill it looks like Evans is the perfect fit at this moment in time. Evans is renowned for his man management style and his ability to find and develop players to inter county standard. Under Johnny Magee Wicklow had a very young squad and the hard work done by the Kilmacud man in his tenure in developing the squad will be carried on by Evans.
The selection committee under Chairman Colm Finnegan came in for well deserved praise at the county board meeting on Monday night and many delegates walked out with a renewed hope that better days lie ahead or as another member of the selection committee a proud Wicklow man Jimmy Whittle once said “Our history may be in our future”. Newly weds John McGrath and Paddy Dalton two players who are brilliant servants to Wicklow GAA were also involved in the process along with astute businessman Alan Smullen from the St Patricks club and Cllr. Gerry Walsh from Eire Óg who spoke very highly of John Evans and how the incoming manager had impressed with his knowledge of Wicklow GAA and his obvious enthusiasm for the role.
Exciting times ahead.