Inter County Hurling Managers Under Pressure

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Inter County Hurling Managers Under Pressure

Postby Slieve Bloom Man » Tue Jul 14, 2015 12:24 am

So far it has not being a great hurling championship. It's being okay - lets hope that we have exciting quarter-finals, semi-finals and final ahead of us.

Definitely some managers are now under pressure and it will be interesting to compare how the different County Boards deal with the current managers.

1. Brian Whelehan -Offaly. Our greatest hurler has being a huge disappointment as a manager. It is a real pity to see a hero of Offaly hurling in this situation. Interestingly in an interview after the Clare match he claimed the team had made progress. Can't see how many Offaly supporters would agree with him. Disastrous league campaign in 2014 where team should have been relegated. Likewise hammered by Kilkenny and Tipperary in championship with a victory over Antrim. 2015 league campaign was better but still not great. Championship an absolute disaster in 2015 with defeats to Laois and Clare. Offaly weren't great either under Ollie Baker or Joe Dooley - however Offaly were competitive under their regimes against the likes of Cork, Waterford, Dublin and Galway while achieving victory over Wexford in 2012. So it is very hard to see how Whelehan thinks he has made progress. If these last 2 years of results happened under another manager - Whelehan would be slating the manager. Another issue is that some players won't play for Whelehan. An argument in his defence obviously is that we haven't had the players come through from underage level to replace the likes of Rory Haniffy and this is very true. However at the end of the day we need to compare ourselves to the likes of Laois who yes were hammered by Galway and lost heaily to Dublin but you can see progress under Cheddar Plunkett. Their set-up comes across as much more professional than Offaly. Offaly County Board need to show balls and thank Whelehan for his time but tell him that it has not worked out and it is time to move on. The problem then for the County Board is to then find a manager that will have a professional set-up that all the players will be willing to buy into.

2. Kevin Ryan Antrim. Ryan seemed like a good appointment by the Saffrons as a manager who had previously done well with Carlow over a number of years. However things have not gone well especially in 2015. Relegated in league and championship. They did win the Ulster Championship - barely - will it be enough to save his job? Ryan was over the under 21 team that defeated Wexford 2 years ago - however he himself pretty much admitted that this was a fluke result. Like Offaly - Antrim have not produced underage teams of note over the last few years so the county is really struggling. Again like Offaly, one could argue that some of their clubs aren't too bad. But realistically the situation is bleak. I imagine Antrim supporters are very unhappy - I have a feeling though that the Antrim County Board will give Ryan a chance to win back promotion in League and championship. League promotion won't be easy with Westmeath and Carlow there too. They should win Christy Ring though.

3. Liam Dunne - Wexford. After a good 2014 under Dunne, Wexford had a terrible 2015. They never really challenged for promotion from 1B. In championship defeated Westmeath but were not at the races against Kilkenny or in 1st half V Cork. They were okay in 2nd half against Cork but game was as good as over. Wexford supporters can't understand how players were left to decide what way to play against Cork when they won the toss. In 2012 Dunne was in charge when Wexford lost to Offaly. In 2013 his team were incredibly dirty in a replay in Parnell Park against Dublin- something he was denying still in 2015. So really his only achievements were championship victories over Clare and Waterford in 2014. He has one year left - however he must be feeling the heat from JJ Doyle - current under 21 manager with 3 Leinsters in a row as well as being a very successful Wexford Camoige manager. Wexford County Board should like Offaly say goodbye to their current manager. However they will probably wait till under 21 campaign is over before making any decision. The future could be reasonably bright for Wexford if they play their cards right.

4. Davy Fitzgerald- Clare. All Ireland Champions in 2013 in what was Clare's 4th time to become champions. So you can imagine if you were to tell a stranger to hurling that the man who delivered 1 of 4 All Ireland Titles in a history of over 120 years is under serious pressure 2 years later - they would be shocked. But no one in the hurling world would be that shocked if Davy did end up with the chop. He is his own worst enemy. He hasn't handled the media well and half of the Clare public are not fond of him either. He didn't handle the Podge Collins issue well nor the Davy O Hallorin one either, compounded by the fact that he brought Colm Galvin straight back into the squad. Definitely it is easy to accuse him of hyprocisy. Has he achieved enough with such a talented group of players. He also has the problem that the previous under 21 management team were so successful and seemed to be popular with the players. Like Liam Dunne - he must be feeling the pressure. The fact that his father is the Co Board secretary might help save his bacon but it will definitely be very interesting to see what happens in the Banner over the next few weeks and months. I'm not a fan of his but he does bring something to the game. He is not the typical boring manager and he wears his heart on his sleeve.

5. TJ Ryan- Limerick. Possibly unfair that he is under pressure considering how well they went in the championship in 2014 and he is not there that long. 2015 championship started well with victory over Clare albeit in a poor enough game. But the margin of defeat against Tipp and the poor performance against Dublin mean that many Limerick fans will have already lost patience with him. The biggest criticism could be Limerick's failure to perform well in the last two league campaigns. Offaly caught them both years and then a very poor display again against Dublin in the League quarter-final.It won't be any easier to come out of 1B next year with Clare there. I think the Limerick County Board will give him another year. While Limerick minor teams have been successful over the last 3 years - the Limerick Co Board don't have an obvious option of an up and coming management team that have done well at under 21 grade like Wexford and Clare.


Managers that could be under pressure soon if results don't go their way
6.Jimmy Barry Murphy Cork and 7. Anthony Cunningham Galway are in a similiar situation to each other. I expect the losing manager of this game to be probably finished.

The Rest are safe enough

Even though 8.Eamon O Shea won Munster yesterday he will still receive a lot of criticism if they fail to win the All Ireland. He has already stated that this is his last year and will be replaced by selector Michael Ryan which was a strange move by Tipp Co Board.

9. Ger Cunningham Dublin received some criticism in the lead up to the Limerick game. Anthony Daly was going to be a hard act to follow in Dublin. I thought Cunningham was a very good choice as his replacement. However he has made some strange calls of late and Dublin were poor against Limerick even though they won. Waterford will be favourites to win the next day but surely Cunningham deserves more time. They had a decent enough league campaign and should have nothing to fear as underdogs against Waterford. I think he might come good given time.

10. Like Cunningham Pat English Carlow was only appointed this year - I don't know much about the man but survival in Liam McCarthy has to be considered a success. However failure to even reach the Division 2A League Final must have been disappointing.

11. Cheddar Plunkett Laois- have to admire what he has achieved over the last couple of years. However Laois are still a long way off the top teams so where does he go from here? - will he continue be able to motivate the players to put in such an effort without the possibility of ever winning Leinster or All Ireland medals. Will enough good quality underage players come through to make further strides?

12. Michael Ryan Westmeath successful 2015 championship campaign coming out of round robin and performing fairly well against Limerick and Wexford. Probably disappointed to have lost out to Kerry in 2A league Final. Will be interesting to see if they can build on the momentum in 2016.

13. Eamon Kelly Kerry - very successful league and Christy Ring championship. Can they compete with the big boys next year? Expect them to struggle but Kelly has done a great job to get them this far.

14. Derek McGrath Waterford - huge progress with a young team in 2015. Neutrals are not loving his style of play and I can see Waterford fans turning quickly if results did start to go wrong. But fair play to him - he has being brave and Waterford weren't that far off Tipp in the Munster Final despite Tipp having superior hurlers. If they get over Dublin - they will make life difficult for Kilkenny in the semis and will have plenty to build on for 2016.

15. Brian Cody Kilkenny. Enough said. Although some KK fans are often quick enough to criticise him the odd year they don't win the All Ireland! What a luxury we'd love to have.
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Re: Inter County Hurling Managers Under Pressure

Postby Turenne » Tue Jul 14, 2015 9:14 am

JBM and A. Cunningham are safe enough you'd imagine. If Dublin shift another hammering then G. Cunningham could be under pressure.

TJ Ryan and Davy Fitz will be allowed stay, not good for either county. When you look at the talent Clare/Limerick have in comparison to Cork, and the corresponding championship results/performances, then both TJ/Davy should be fucked out.
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Re: Inter County Hurling Managers Under Pressure

Postby SearingDrive » Tue Jul 14, 2015 9:36 am

Turenne wrote:JBM and A. Cunningham are safe enough you'd imagine. If Dublin shift another hammering then G. Cunningham could be under pressure.

TJ Ryan and Davy Fitz will be allowed stay, not good for either county. When you look at the talent Clare/Limerick have in comparison to Cork, and the corresponding championship results/performances, then both TJ/Davy should be fucked out.

I believe Davy Fitz has been given another year with Clare.
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Re: Inter County Hurling Managers Under Pressure

Postby biffinbanner » Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:05 am

daddy dearest!!
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Re: Inter County Hurling Managers Under Pressure

Postby Plain of the Herbs » Tue Jul 14, 2015 9:02 pm

Nice piece, SBM.

And number 1 on the list has departed, less than 24 hours after your post. The right decision taken by Brian Whelahan, in the heel of the hunt.

You'd imagine the Antrim fella will be soon gone too. Anthony Cunningham is in his fourth year and will hardly see a fifth. Liam Dunne may get another year on foot of 2014. That said, Wexford should have beaten Klare by about eight points in Innis the first day, and fell over the line after being broought to extra-time the second day.
Pat Donegan. Signed out of respect for players and all involved with Offaly.
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Re: Inter County Hurling Managers Under Pressure

Postby Bord na Mona man » Tue Jul 14, 2015 11:43 pm

I feel sorry for Brian. There is no doubting his passion for Offaly. In his playing days he could have taken the cushy option and retired 5 years sooner when it was obvious the glory days had ended for Offaly. Instead he felt duty bound to stay on and try and guide in the new generation.

I get the impression he aged 10 years in the last two managing Offaly. I remember seeing him after last year's tight win over Antrim and he was ashen faced and looked like he'd had a brush with death. I think he took on the Offaly role with the best of intentions, but probably needed more successes on his CV before being considered for the role.
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