Cork GAA chiefs will tomorrow night begin what chairman Ger Lane hopes will be a quick process to replace Kieran Kingston as county senior hurling manager.
The decision of Kingston not to accept a new term in charge was announced on Saturday afternoon and, fortunately, the monthly meeting of the county board, initially scheduled for last Tuesday, was put back a week.
As a result, the first gathering of delegates at the new Páirc Uí Chaoimh will set the wheels in motion to find his successor, with Lane expecting a similar scenario to the recent search for a football manager, with the board’s executive taking responsibility for the appointment.
“On Tuesday night, the executive will look to appoint a committee,” Lane said.
“I think the set-up for the football appointment worked well and it would be my hope to have something similar.
“That was wrapped up fairly quickly and ideally this would be the same as you don’t want it to be a drawn-out process.”
Lane didn’t call Kingston’s decision “a surprise”, but it was an outcome with left him disappointed.
“I met Kieran last Wednesday week to discuss the 2017 season,” he said, “and he was offered a new term then.
“We met again last week and he gave his decision on Saturday. It’s disappointing, obviously, after the team had such a good year, but managing an intercounty team is a massive commitment.
“Kieran had been involved for five of the last six years, as manager and before that as coach and selector under Jimmy Barry-Murphy, so to go again would have meant seven years out of eight, which is a lot.
“He did a great job and I can’t speak highly enough of him, as a man and a manager.
“He has given Cork great service on the field and in a management role.When you come into a job like this, you want to leave things in a better state than when you started and he has definitely done that.”
As Munster champions and with a number of young players having emerged, the Cork post is now a very attractive one, but Lane is keen to point out that there is a flipside to this too.
“Obviously, Cork had a far better year than in 2016,” he said, “and we were delighted to win the Munster championship again.
“That brings its own pressures though and there will be an increased level of expectation for the coming year.
“It’s all part of the job and the Cork role would traditionally have been one of the more high-profile ones anyway.
“I’m sure that whoever is appointed will be able to deal with that pressure.”
When Ronan McCarthy was announced as the new football boss, he was given a three-year term rather than the usual two.
Lane isn’t ruling that out, but there are no guarantees that this format will be replicated for the new man.
“There can be a number of different reasons behind the length of the term,” he says.
“That was the decision made with the football job and it might be the case that whoever is appointed to the hurling role looks for three years.
“If that’s the case then we’ll look at things. It’s a blank canvas, really.”
And what of the possibility of a non-native Cork hurling manager?
“If it happened, it would be a first,” Lane said, “so I wouldn’t expect it.
“What you want is to have somebody capable in the role and there are a number of capable coaches and managers here in Cork.”
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