O’Mahony hails ‘brilliant’ Allen appointment

LIMERICK captain Gavin O’Mahony believes John Allen is the perfect choice to replace Donal O’Grady as senior hurling manager.

Allen’s appointment is set to be ratified by the county board on Tuesday night and O’Mahony is hopeful the All-Ireland winning Corkman will hit the ground running on Shannonside.

“It’s brilliant, it puts the rumours to bed. I’m just glad that the whole thing has not dragged on since Donal (O’Grady) decided not to stay in charge. There were plenty of names flying around and plenty people were asking me what the story was. It’s good we’re sorted now and thepreparations for 2012 can start. I’ve been doing a couple of weeks training work along with Paudie O’Brien, who’s also on the Limerick panel, as we’re doing stuff with his brother Aidan who is a personal trainer. You really need that early bit ofconditioning.

“It’ll be interesting to see what the backroom team is but I’d be hoping there is some continuity from last year. Our selectors Ciarán Carey, TJ Ryan and Pat Heffernan were hugely helpful to Donal O’Grady last year. They knew the Limerick players inside out from going to club matches at all levels. If they were involved they’d help identify the right players and it helps break down barriers by ensuring a new management team isapproachable.”

O’Mahony reckons the 2005 All-Ireland winning manager will command instant respect amongst the Limerick squad.

“I’ve never come across John or had dealings with him. But you look at the experience that he has with Cork and he’s clearly an excellent manager. I think it’ll be similar to the situation when Donal O’Grady started with us, as it’s another All-Ireland winning manager coming into the dressing-room. It was a huge bonus and we bought into what he was trying to do straight away. The important thing for the younger players is that they are coming into a competitive setup. Shane (Dowling) has been reallyimpressive as a minor and U21, while Pat (Begley) was excellent for the U21’s.”

Meanwhile, Michael Ryan has emerged as favourite to succeed Davy Fitzgerald as Waterford senior hurling manager. Ryan is understood to have Nicky Cashin, Brother Philip Ryan and former Kerry physical trainer Pat Flanagan as part of his management team, but the appointments committee set up by the County Board is expected to meet at least two more candidates in the next week before coming to a decision. If so, an appointment is unlikely for at least two weeks.

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