By Michael Dundon and Colm O’Connor
ALL-IRELAND winning manager Nicky English last night resigned from his position at the helm of the Tipperary senior hurling side.
English had held the post for the past four years, capturing the Liam McCarthy Cup 12 months ago. He had a year remaining on his contract. His decision to step down was officially conveyed to a meeting of Tipperary County Board last night. The Board have formed a committee in an effort to find a replacement.
Former player of the year Tommy Dunne, who captained the side to the All-Ireland title last year, said he was saddened by the news: "We had all been hoping he would stay on as manager but sadly it was not to be.
"A lot of different things made him such a good manager. It is hard to list them all.
"But he is a terrific guy outside of being a great manager.
"He is a good people manager, a good organiser and all-round a very intelligent guy.
He is a huge loss to Tipperary hurling.
"Hopefully whoever gets the job will go on to gain success and make their mark in the same way Nicky has done over the last couple of years."
Tipperary County Board chairman Con Hogan said he and a number of officials had tried in vain to persuade the Lattin Cullen clubman not to step down as manager.
"His intention has been known to us for some time and while appreciating his position my fellow officers and I did everything we could to persuade him to stay on," Hogan said last night.
"In doing this we were conscious that we were carrying out what we know was the wish of the Tipperary hurling public as well as that of the senior hurling panel."
Under the management of English, Tipperary won the All-Ireland crown, two National Hurling Leagues and a Munster championship.
Mr Hogan said English, an AIB banking executive based in Dublin who won four Allstars and two All-Ireland medals as a player, was hugely successful in all aspects of management: "The quality of commitment that marked Nicholas English’s entire life as a hurler was brought to the job as a manager and allied to this was a human touch which made the business of handling players and people come naturally to him."
It is not clear at this stage if selectors Ken Hogan and Jack Bergin will remain in office but both are being touted as possible replacements for English.
English’s former team-mate Michael Cleary, who lead the county to three All-Ireland senior camogie titles, is also said to be a consideration along with former Offaly boss John McIntyre and former senior selector Michael Doyle.