O’Sullivan, who was part of the Cork team to contest the 1999 All-Ireland football decider, has thrown his support behind the Castlehaven native, insisting Cleary is the outstanding candidate to succeed Brian Cuthbert.
The two-time All-Ireland medal-winner was overlooked by the selection committee two-years ago and when pressed last week as to whether he would throw his hat into the ring for a second time, Clearly replied: “I’ll see will I let my name go forward — it’s a huge, huge job and I’ll sit down in the next couple of days when I get a bit of time.”
Cleary is again viewed as a leading contender having worked with the vast bulk of the current squad when steering Cork to All-Ireland U21 glory in 2007 and 2009.
“John Cleary is the man for that job,” asserted O’Sullivan.
“I hope he will go for it. I think it would be good for Cork football if he did.
“It is hard to say if it is time for a man from West Cork to have the job. It is time for Cork to have the best man I suppose, more than anything else. He has been there with the U21s, his track record is excellent. He seems the candidate that is most suitable.”
O’Sullivan, who guided Carbery Rangers to last year’s Cork SFC final, reckons the negative criticism of the club scene on Leeside is being overdone.
“Obviously with Cork going so far in the hurling and football the last few years, there is no momentum in the club scene any more. People knock the Cork club scene, but I don’t think it is as bad as people say it is. A shorter inter-county season would help.”