Paul Coggins steps down as manager of London senior football team
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Paul Coggins steps down as manager of London senior football team

PAUL Coggins has stepped down as stepped down as manager of the London Senior Football team after five years at the helm.

The Roscommon native guided London to their most successful era having steered them to the 2013 Connacht final and three Championship wins in total.

Before Coggins' arrival, London had only ever registered one Championship win, and in his first season in charge he almost produced the shock of the season, forcing Mayo to extra-time before succumbing to the dominant Connacht force.

A statement from the County Board read: “London GAA would like to thank Paul Coggins for his five years of service. From day one Paul brought a new level of professionalism to the Senior Football team and continuously strived to make improvements both on and off the field.

“Paul was served by a number of selectors, coaches and back room team during his tenure, London GAA would like to thank each individual for their work and effort during their time with the team.

“As a passionate and proud London Gael who never forgot his Roscommon roots, Paul’s enthusiasm and pride for the London jerseys was a trait of all London teams under his watch.

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“His desire and hunger for London to be successful is a true testament to his pride for the County and the tag of Exile is one he embraced and drove his motivation.”

Meanwhile, the County Board confirmed Fergus McMahon will remain in charge of London's senior hurling team for 2016.

However, Coggins confirmed his departure by submitting an emotionally charged statement ahead of Monday night's September meeting, but suggested he's prepared to manage a London Under-21 football team if the opportunity arises.

Read his statement in full below.

After a lot of of thought and having met with the main officers it is with regret and a heavy heart I have decided not to put my name forward for the coming season for the post of London county senior football manager.

I would like to thank so many people individually but at this time I firstly want to thank the London county board and London clubs for giving me the huge honour for the past five years of being the county manager and it always was an honour to be given the job.

I have enjoyed it hugely. We gave it everything we had and I am sure that will continue in the future. I urge the board to continue working to make our county teams as well prepared as possible as we are a competitive county and the work put in to achieve that needs to continue so the board and officers are key to helping make that happen.

I sincerely wish to thank all the clubs in London who have backed me one hundred per cent since I became manager and there were many walls put up in front of us, but thanks to the great support I received from the clubs we kept knocking them down and will I am sure continue to do so.

Many thanks to all the Gaels of London and at home for their great support to me personally and to the squad over the past five seasons and please continue to support the team and new management as I will and ensure a smooth transition and I will help in any way and if required give any advice to the new manager if asked to do so.

I would like to sincerely thank all the great sponsors and individuals who have supported our county team in my time in charge as without this support we would struggle to be as competitive as we are and hope this will continue.

A special thanks to my club Tir Chonaill Gaels and especially Tom Mohan for all their support and for giving me my first role in football management. Thanks to the media and journalists here and at home that I have dealt with in my term as manager.

I have been very lucky to have been surrounded by so many great people and to have met so many great people through my role as manager and I have so many great memories of my time as manager. I sincerely thank every person who was involved in my back room team over the past five seasons.

Many players and members of the backroom team have returned to Ireland or have travelled further afield or have had to step away for other reasons but each and every one of them were absolutely brilliant and they all did a top class job for me and for our county in their time and I hope they enjoyed it as much as me and their unselfish hard work made my job so much easier and huge credit and personal thanks from me to all those great men and women and I will miss you.

To every player I have worked with since we first met in Greenford you have always given a huge commitment and it has been an honour to share the dressing room with all the players and I urge you to continue to have ambition and to be the best that you can be as it is an honour to wear the London jersey and anyone asked to do so needs to work hard to continue to make us proud of our county teams.

Without the players we have nothing and these lads have worked tirelessly and I again urge our board to keep looking to improve everything to enable these players to give the highest possible performance and when our development is ready, which it will be, then I feel we as a county will reap the rewards.

Finally a huge thanks to herself Ann, my wife, who has backed me and put up with me for over the past five years and longer, she has been the main reason I was able to do what I love doing. There has been a huge amount of effort and coaching done at under-age level under the leadership of our hard working Minor board and under Lloyd Colfer and I feel we could improve ourselves at U21 level in London.

Sometimes to get stronger we have to take a step back and I feel we need to concentrate on our younger players and try to bridge the gap that exists from Minor level to Senior level and an U21 London Team would help this and if asked I am hugely interested in this role.

Again, there will be walls to be knocked down but if we commit to it then a U21 London team will make our county team stronger in the future. Thanks again for the opportunity and the very best of luck to our Senior Squad and the management for the season ahead.

Is mise le meas Pol Mac Cogain.