Mickey Moran steps down as Slaughtneil football manager
Mickey Moran has called time on his successful reign as manager of Derry and Ulster champions Slaughtneil.
Moran took the decision to walk away in the wake of Slaughtneil's loss to Munster champions Nemo Rangers in their All-Ireland semi-final on 24 February.
The Maghera native led the club to four Derry championships, three Ulster titles and two All-Ireland finals.
Assistant manager John Joe Kearney has also stepped down from his role with the Robert Emmet's club.
"It is the end of an era. It took us a couple of weeks. Mickey thought long and hard and felt in the end he'd done enough," said Kearney.
"He is retired and says he might get involved at underage level just to do something, but it really worked out for him here. He has been brilliant for us and it was a great run."
Moran's distinguished managerial career saw him take charge of five county sides - Derry, Donegal, Leitrim, Sligo and Mayo - before his four-year spell at the helm of Slaughtneil.
"The ultimate aim was to win the All-Ireland and we didn't get there.
"I suppose the Dr Crokes game (last year's All-Ireland final) was the nearest we came, though also the All-Ireland semi-final, this year against Nemo Rangers when we had one shot which dropped into the goalkeeper's hands when a point would have won it for us. In extra-time, we didn't have the legs."
The footballers' defeat came just two weeks after the club's hurlers lost their semi-final to Na Piarsaigh at the last four stage, with many of the squad involved with both sides.
"That is the first time that dual status came home to roost. We were going continually over a four-year period and it did take its toll.
"It would have been nice to win five in a row of Derry titles, that would have been another record for us, but there's nothing to say someone new can't come in and still do that. The team is still there and the team is still young."
The club will attempt to defend the All-Ireland camogie title on 18 March against Sarsfields of Galway.