In the absence of action, inter-county retirement notices are the subject of critique right now. Too long for some, too sweet for others, people have all of a sudden become offended Leonard Cohens and declared that’s no way to say goodbye.
Higgins will now likely return to his beloved hurling just as Macauley might look to his favoured basketball when indoor sports return. Football was not their first love but they played it like they adored no other. The game will miss them as will we. And whatever way they wanted to put it, as Dolly, not Leonard put it, there is no good way of saying goodbye.
The appointment of Tom Feeney and Conor Phelan as Waterford and Kilkenny selectors this past weekend went a little under the radar but both are noteworthy developments.
Liam Cahill was expected to replace Stephen Molumphy, who was operating remotely from England. Feeney was on the appointment committee that recommended Cahill be named as Paraic Fanning’s successor in September 2019.
That precedes confirmation that Stephen Gough is remaining on in charge of the U20s despite a challenge from former minor manager Gary Morahan who had on board with him former Waterford senior hurler Pa Kearney as coach as well as Noel Connors and Tommy Ryan as assistant coaches, with Martin Allen and David Robinson as selectors.
The idea of Connors and Ryan preparing a group that would work in tandem with a senior team managed by Cahill who dropped the pair would have been an intriguing dynamic but it will not now happen.
In Kilkenny, 2016 All-Ireland-winning senior camogie coach Phelan replaces DJ Carey whose role on matchday at least appeared to diminish as last year’s championship developed. Phelan’s introduction is important given there had been an onus placed on a new voice in the set-up, as much as Martin and Michael Comerford only joined before last season.
A freshening up of the management team has been called for in Kerry too with speculation rife that former Wexford manager Paul Galvin is considering joining Peter Keane as a coach/selector. The 2009 footballer of the year’s link certainly brings expectation following Donie Buckley’s departure 10 months ago but can it be more than an advisory role, as Galvin lives in Mayo?
The drum for a cap on training sessions is being beaten again this week, Connacht secretary John Prenty picking up the sticks as he has done so before.