O’Grady has yet to finalise his five-man selection committee

NEW Cork hurling manager Donal O’Grady, whose appointment was formally ratified at a special meeting of the County Board last evening, has yet to finalise his five-man selection committee.

But, it will include former Blackrock and Cork hurler Donal Collins, as the representative of county champions Blackrock and, it seems certain, another player with links to his own club St. Finbarrs possibly John Allen or Ger Cunningham.

And, there is continuing speculation that Sean O'Leary and Johnny Crowley, both part of the management for the 1999 All-Ireland-winning campaign, will also be named.

While last night's meeting was called for the purpose of formalising O'Grady's position, it was noteworthy that the delegates unanimously agreed to a change of policy to allow two representatives from the same club among the five.

Chairman Jim Forbes, answering criticism that news of the appointment had been in the public domain, insisted 'it did not come from the top table. "Some people were contacted by one candidate who wanted to discuss some things and maybe it leaked out that way," he said.

Secretary Frank Murphy informed the meeting that O'Grady was opting for a five-man committee, adding: "one question he is asking is, may he have two selectors from one club?" The past policy restricted representation to one. In response, a proposal from Central Council delegate Bob Honohan that they should agree to the change was unanimously agreed to.

O'Grady is Principal of North Monastery CBS and is best known as TG4's Hurling analyst (having previously filled the position on the Sunday Game). He played in the 1983 and 1984 All-Ireland finals and was a selector for the 1986 final. In 1981, he captained Cork to victory in the League final and altogether played in ten championship games. Holder of five county senior hurling medals, he won two All-Ireland club medals.

Delegates were given a verbal report on the successful conclusion to the negotiations with the county hurlers and footballers, with the Chairman explaining that the proposed Supporters Club 'will be controlled' by the Board. Liaison committees to be set up in the New Year will comprise of two players, a member of the management and two officers.

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