Fitzgerald has one year remaining in his current agreement and it is anticipated he will see it out as he aims to build on this season in which Clare claimed their first Division 1 title in 38 years and won 10 of 12 league and championship games.
This evening’s county board meeting may discuss the matter but nothing is expected to be confirmed until Fitzgerald returns from holidays – he is heading to the US next week.
As reported in the Clare Champion last week, Fitzgerald has been attending recent club matches as has his selectors Louis Mulqueen and Michael Browne.
It is understood Cusack has given Fitzgerald assurances he will again take up a coaching role in 2017 in the event the Sixmilebridge man takes the reins for a sixth season. Paul Kinnerk has switched from the Clare set-up to Limerick’s having returned this year.
Speaking recently, Fitzgerald said he had lost none of his appetite for management despite his recent heart scare.
“Don’t have any doubt in your mind. I love being involved and more than anything I love winning and being involved with winners. That’s why I’m very proud of what we have achieved because you take a county like Clare and sometimes some of our supporters lose the run of themselves.”
It is hoped Colm Collins will agree to remain on as Clare football manager having brought the team to an All-Ireland quarter-final. Sean Chaplin and Sean Doyle are in the running for the minor hurling position and Seamus Clancy is primed for the minor football role.
Meanwhile, Limerick U21 manager John Kiely is poised to be ratified as TJ Ryan’s successor as senior boss at this evening’s monthly board meeting. He is set to be joined by Kinnerk (coach), current strength and conditioning coach Joe O’Connor along with Jimmy Quilty, who has worked with Kiely at U21 level, as selector. A second selector will be added in the coming weeks.
Secretary Mike O’Riordan last night sent out the following message to club delegates: “The five-man committee of Joe McKenna, Oliver Mann, Bernard Duggan, Brendan O’Connor and Mike O’Riordan ratified at the August County Committee meeting to return with the next Limerick senior hurling management they wish to bring forward at tomorrow evening’s (Tuesday) management committee meeting and county committee meeting John Kiely – manager, Paul Kinnerk – coach, Joe O’Connor – S&C coach and Jimmy Quilty – selector with one more selector to be appointed.”
Kiely guided the U21s to the All-Ireland title last season and was awarded the Munster GAA manager of the year. The Garryspillane/Galbally man is the principal of Abbey Christian Brothers School in Tipperary town and served as a selector under previous manager John Allen.
It is believed Kiely will be given a three-year term.
It is also understood that former Galway boss Anthony Cunningham was not contacted about the position while Anthony Daly, who was coach to the Limerick minor team this year, indicated he is not interested in stepping up to a senior role at this point in time.
A high-ranking Limerick source explained: “This county board meeting would originally have been the plan but they’re anxious to present the full package, and not just a manager. That’s why it might take another couple of days.
“There’s also a regulation where clubs are given 48 hours’ notice of proposed appointments and we’re obviously inside of that time-frame now but that regulation has occasionally been waived in the past.”