Dublin today began the search for a new senior hurling manager after Anthony Daly stepped down as manager.
The Clare native leaves after six years in charge of the county, leading them to an historic Leinster championship last year and a Division 1 title in 2011.
The 44-year-old enjoyed an impressive reign but one which ended on a low note this season after Dublin underperformed in Leinster final and All-Ireland quarter-final defeats to Kilkenny and Tipperary respectively. However, they managed to consolidate their Division 1 status after a relegation play-off win against Waterford having returned to the top flight last season.
Last week Dublin chairman Andy Kettle had revealed Daly was offered a three-year extension. However, the former Clare manager informed secretary John Costello yesterday that he had come to the natural end of his time with the county having made his decision while holidaying in Portugal.
“Six years is a long voyage with any inter-county team but they flew by because they were so enjoyable and the lads were so committed,” he said before adding, “I just wanted to give myself as much time to make sure that I was doing the right thing, and just to sound the lads out about what they were feeling. I just feel that everything comes to a natural end one way or another. I felt it was time to cut the cord and move on.
“That’s life — there’s a certain lifespan in everything and I think it’s the best move for everybody, for players and maybe management for a fresh approach to come in.”
Daly is adamant the future is bright for Dublin. “There are still good players in there. For everybody involved, for myself, Richie (Stakelum), Shane (Martin), Hedgo (Ciarán Hetherton), Ross Dunphy and Tommy (Dunne), it’s the best move all around and the players will benefit from a fresh approach and a fresh voice. I could have been tempted to stay going and try to knock a year out of it. We seem to have a habit of bouncing back after a poor year but the time comes for us all.”
In a statement last night, Costello said: “Anthony served as Dublin manager for six years and during that period brought us back to the top table in the game. His loyalty to the cause, his expertise, his charisma and drive were key factors as Dublin climbed back up the rankings and moved forward from being one of the also-rans.
“Anthony leaves Dublin in a much healthier position having retained our Division 1A status earlier this year. While this year ended in disappointment we enjoyed some incredible days during his term.”
Daly’s name has been linked to Anthony Cunningham’s position in Galway where Cunningham’s former selector Mattie Kenny has also thrown his hat into the ring. Since retiring from the Clare panel in 2002, the Clarecastle man has only been two seasons out of inter-county management, 2007 and ’08.
Names already being associated with the position are former Cork selector and coach Ger Cunningham and Irish Examiner columnist Dónal Óg Cusack.
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