28-year old Monaleen native Kinnerk has been unveiled as the head of Limerick’s new underage football academy, strengthening speculation he will not be returning to the Clare hurling set-up. It emerged last month Kinnerk had opted out of Davy Fitzgerald’s backroom team for next year, to return in 2016.
Limerick football board chairman John Cregan yesterday revealed Kinnerk’s involvement at the head of the football academy is long term, claiming “this is a project he is particularly keen to oversee”.
Joining Kinnerk is strength and conditioning coach Darren Droog, the pair charged with overseeing the coaching of Limerick teams from U14 to U17 level. Senior footballers Stephen Lavin, Pa Ranahan, Conor Fitzgerald and Eoin Joy are also expected to be part of the various underage management teams.
“We are setting up this academy to act as the foundation of our underage structure,” said Cregan.
“We have had very poor underage structures the last number of years. We have looked at the hurling model which has been very strong in recent times.
“If you look at Jerry Wallis’s role at the head of the underage hurling academy, leading and teaching the coaches, that is the role Paul will assume. Paul will also ensure that the players who start out at U14 continue right through to U17.
“This is a particular project he is keen to oversee. He has a great vision for Limerick football.”
Limerick’s football graph has plummeted in recent years, the county’s U21 side failing to win a Munster championship game in three years.
“Five campaigns have elapsed since the county’s minor side last claimed a victory.
“If we put the right structures in place and work very hard, then we can become very competitive in three to four years.”