Cork legend Tompkins primed for management return

CORK football legend Larry Tompkins is set for a return to management.

Tompkins, who had not managed a team since stepping down from the Cork job in 2003 is to take charge of Mitchelstown, who were crowned North Cork JAFC champions this season.

“I was approached a couple of weeks ago by Gary Coleman, the new chairman up there,” Tompkins explained.

“We had a few discussions and I’d have known a few people there from helping them out a few years ago with training sessions, so I was happy to be able to give them a hand.”

As of yet, the Kildare-born man, who won Cork county SFC medals with Castlehaven in 1989 and ‘94, has not named his backroom team.

“We’re still in the initial stages,” he said. “I only decided to take the job a few days ago, so nothing is really decided in that area.”

Barring a junior win in 1961 and an intermediate title four years later, county success has eluded Mitchelstown since the end of the 1920s.

Tompkins is optimistic that he can help them to return to glory.

“Hopefully,” he said. “It’s a long time since they had a county win and with towns like these, when they get a win, it does the whole area good. They’ve had a wait, hopefully I can help them improve, how far we can go remains to be seen. Building on this year is the main priority.”

Having been out of the game since Cork’s loss to Roscommon in the All-Ireland qualifiers in 2003, will Tompkins have changed as a manager?

“I don’t know,” he admitted. “I suppose with these things you learn as you go along and pick up things from everybody. No one person knows it all and obviously you need a bit of luck along the way too. It’s a challenge, but I’ve no doubt that everybody will be motivated and put their shoulders to the wheel.”

Meanwhile Liam Harnan, the assistant to new Meath senior football team boss Seamus McEnaney, is set to double as the Royals’ U21 manager in 2011.

The dual All-Ireland winner of the late ‘80s is the choice of the Meath executive committee and the proposal is expected to be endorsed at a county board meeting in Navan on Monday night.

Harnan recently vacated his position as manager of the Skryne team, having guided them to a first Meath SFC title in six years.

He was strongly fancied to succeed Eamonn O’Brien as the Royals’ helmsman but felt he had not sufficient experience for the post and instead settled for a support role to the former Monaghan boss.

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