Top referee Pat McEnaney ready to walk away

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Updated: August 15, 2011

One of the country’s best known referees Pat McEnaney says he is ready to walk away from the game as he approaches the retirement age of 50.

The Monaghan born whistler has probably officiated at his last championship game unless he is appointed to this years All Ireland Final.

McEnaney says his hunger for refereeing is gone and, while he will miss the big matches he is happy to be finished with the lesser games that make up a referee’s season. He will now spend more time with his family as well as coaching the U14 side in his native Corduff.

“It’s coming to a stage in my life where the National League doesn’t excite me anymore,” McEnaney told the Irish Mail on Sunday.

“It’s a bit like an intercounty player, when he doesn’t want to play the National League, but he’ll play championship. Once that begins to happen it’s time to look at where you’re going.

“It’s only the championship matches and the cut grass that gets me. While the thought of going up to referee Derry and Tyrone in the National League might excite a young referee, it takes the championship to excite me at the minute.

“I need to move on. I need to do other things. I’m doing a lot of cycling at the minute, a bit of mountain-climbing, kayaking – stuff that I never had time to do in my life.

“I’ve a couple of good juvenile teams I’m looking after. That’s going well. Refereeing is a bit of an individual thing; it’s a bit me fein.

“I didn’t know if I’d like managing players but I enjoy coaching young fellas because I have a belief in the way the game should be played. To me, all young fellas should be naturally two-footed, or if it’s playing a pass, left hand, right hand.”

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