Allen emerges as candidate to succeed O’Grady at Limerick

FORMER Cork hurling boss John Allen has emerged as a candidate for the vacant Limerick post.

Allen, who managed the Rebels to the 2005 All-Ireland hurling title, succeeded Donal O’Grady as Cork hurling manager.

If he were to take over in Limerick he would of course be replacing his fellow clubman from St Finbarr’s for a second time — O’Grady stepped down as Limerick manager recently, having completed his one-year stint in charge.

Retired primary school principal Allen was a selector with Donal O’Grady from 2003-04 before taking the helm in 2005.

Following his side’s victory over Galway in that year’s All-Ireland final he led them to the 2006 final against Kilkenny, when the Cats beat Cork by three points to end their hopes of a three-in-a-row. He has not been involved in inter-county management since.

Other names in the frame for the Limerick job include former inter-county star TJ Ryan, who served as a selector with O’Grady this year.

Whoever comes in will have a promising group of U21s to pick from — Limerick beat Cork in a classic Munster U21 hurling final this year — and will also benefit from O’Grady’s work this season rebuilding the Limerick senior side. This year they won Division 2 of the NHL and came within a minute of surprising Waterford in the Munster championship.

Meanwhile, former All-Ireland winning captain, James ‘Cha’ Fitzpatrick has laughed off claims he was considering a transfer from the county.

“I have no intention of transferring anywhere,’’ he said. “I wouldn’t leave Kilkenny or the Shamrocks, who are one of the best clubs in the country with a great record.

“I think people must just make up these stories. I suppose they saw I wasn’t playing with Kilkenny and things took off from there. I am very happy in the Kilkenny set-up.

“The lads were brilliant this year. It was fantastic to be part of a panel that won a fifth All-Ireland in six years.”

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