Cork GAA chiefs to move on football manager

CORK GAA chiefs hope to present a new football manager to county board delegates for ratification next week.

Board chairman Jim Forbes said last night that a special sub-committee charged with filling a number of team management vacancies in the county was “making progress”.

“There are a number of important positions at inter-county level, even if most of the publicity has been about one job. In relation to the football job, we are at the stage of assessing who is interested.”

Much of the speculation has focused on former coach, Billy Morgan, though outgoing coach Larry Tompkins has yet to declare his intentions.

Cork officials are casting a sympathetic eye at events in Kerry, having been themselves cast into the media spotlight themselves earlier this year, but the managerial structures in Cork ensure that a Páidi Ó Sé-type stand-off cannot occur.

“Managers are appointed for a two year term, and if, or when, the team is defeated in the second year, then the manager’s term ends there and then. But the manager and selectors are entitled to resubmit their name for consideration,” Mr Forbes explained.

Cork officials must find new coaches forto the senior, U-21, junior and minor football teams, plus the minor and U21 hurling teams. Intermediate hurling coach, Sean O’Brien, has the option of continuing in that role after masterminding an All-Ireland victory over Kilkenny this season.

Meanwhile, on the eve of the county’s senior hurling final on Sunday between champions Blackrock and Newtownshandrum, Mr Forbes said that a special sub-committee will report shortly on possible changes to the running of the Championship.

The committee is headed up by Board development officer, Bob Ryan, and includes ex-chairman Jim Cronin, former Barry’s Tea chief Michael O’Sullivan, ex-Association president Con Murphy, and two representatives from the clubs.

They will present a set of proposals aimed at bolstering and streamlining the Hurling Championship in an attempt to up standards. The Board’s GAC is examining the other remaining Championship competitions in the county.

However, Mr Forbes ruled out any bid to prevent intermediate championship winners from moving up to senior grade. He said that every club should have the right to play at senior level - but it was also important that clubs recognised the need to re-grade downwards if necessary.

The chairman has expressed concern in the past about falling standards in the county’s blue riband event.

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