John Kiely named Munster manager of the year

John Kiely, for the leading role he played in delivering Limerick a first All-Ireland hurling title in 45 years, is the 2018 Munster GAA Manager of the Year.

This is the second occasion that Kiely, a native of Galbally, has been crowned manager of the year by the Munster Council, first winning the award back in 2015 after guiding Limerick to Munster and All-Ireland U21 glory.

Prior to their famine-ending run this summer, Kiely steered the Treaty back into Division 1A of the Allianz hurling league after eight seasons mired in the second tier. His greatest act, of course, was winning Liam MacCarthy with a team of which 12 had never played a senior championship game at Croke Park before their All-Ireland semi-final against Cork.

Kerry youngster Séan O’Shea is the Munster Senior Footballer of the Year, in what was his first full season in the Kingdom senior set-up.

In his first league game at Fitzgerald Stadium in late January, the Kenmare forward threw over seven points, but it was the composed manner of the then teenager that stood out as much as his ability to find the target. O’Shea contributed 0-11 during the county’s successful defence of the Munster title.

Cork’s Mark Coleman and Áine O’Sullivan have been named as the Munster GAA U21 Hurler and Ladies Footballer of the Year respectively. Beara’s O’Sullivan was outstanding during Cork’s All-Ireland final defeat to Dublin, notching 1-2 from play.

Elsewhere, Johnny McCaffrey, the man who captained Dublin to a first Leinster SHC crown in 52 years back in 2013, has retired from the inter-county game. Having made his debut in 2006, McCaffrey thanked the various managers he worked with during his time in the blue shirt, including Anthony Daly.

“I would like to thank Anthony Daly and his management team for giving me the massive honour of captaining my county for four years, making history along the way. We in Dublin hurling owe a lot to Dalo for getting us back competing at the top table.”

Munster Awards: Ladies Footballer of the Year: Aine O’Sullivan, Cork; U21 Hurler of the Year: Mark Coleman, Cork; Senior Footballer of the Year: Sean O’Shea, Kerry; Manager of the Year: John Kiely (Limerick).

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