Silly season for managers as counties shop around

LIAM SHEEDY’S two-year term as Tipperary senior hurling manager will officially begin this evening when the Kilruane McDonagh clubman is ratified at a meeting of the county board.

A selector with Michael Doyle in 2003, Sheedy guided the county minors to a first All-Ireland title in a decade in 2006 and will be assisted next season by Upperchurch-Drombane’s Michael Ryan and fellow clubmate Eamonn O’Shea.

Sheedy’s former minor selectors will make the step up to U21 level next year. Gerry Maguire, Martin Gleeson and Noel Russell all worked alongside Sheedy in 2006 while 1991 All-Ireland winning captain Declan Carr will act as manager.

Tipperary aren’t the only county getting their house in order for the new season this week.

Former Offaly All-star Johnny Dooley will be confirmed as Westmeath senior hurling manager at a meeting of the county board tomorrow night.

The Seir Kieran clubman’s candidacy has already been approved, making tomorrow’s proceedings a formality.

Dooley succeeds Seamus Qualter, whom he worked alongside as coach last season, and faces a tough task in emulating his predecessor who delivered two Christy Ring Cups (2005 and 2007) during his three-year stint.

The Galway native also masterminded a Leinster Championship victory over Dublin in 2006 while delivering credible displays against Kilkenny and Waterford later that summer.

A two-time All-Ireland winner with Offaly, Dooley earned three All-stars, three Leinster medals, two minor All-Irelands, three provincial U21s and an NFL crown.

Dooley’s older brother Joe is also in the frame for a shot at an inter-county posting. The three-time All-Ireland winner is one of at least four contenders for the post of senior Offaly manager.

John McIntyre’s tenure ended with the county’s All-Ireland exit this summer but his two outgoing selectors Paddy Kirwan and Aidan Fogarty, are also in the frame, as is Padraig Horan.

No progress is expected on the matter until the weekend at the earliest as county chairman Pat Daly and a number of other officers are currently on a Mediterranean cruise with the All-Ireland football winning side of 1982.

In football, Westmeath will also be ratifying Tomás Ó Flatharta as senior manager for a third year at their board meeting tomorrow night. The Kerry native served as a selector under Páidí Ó Sé for two years before taking over for the 2006 campaign.

Elsewhere, officials in both Kildare and Carlow are keeping tight-lipped over the possible identity of their next football managers. Former Armagh captain Kieran McGeeney has been mentioned in relation to both posts.

“It’s a work in progress for us right now and we’re interviewing a number of people at the moment so we haven’t got any definite information to give just yet,” said Carlow chairman Pat Deering.

“Our hope would be that we would have someone in place in time for the county final on October 14. At the moment we are talking to people outside the county but we are keeping our options open.”

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