Offaly hurling defender Cillian Kiely has called on officials to appoint a ‘no-bullshit’ non-native manager, possibly from Kilkenny, to get them back on track. The once mighty Faithful had a disastrous summer and were relegated from the Joe McDonagh Cup to the third tier Christy Ring Cup.
Kevin Martin was sacked as manager in May and replaced by an interim management team that broke up after the McDonagh Cup.
Kiely, who will defend his M Donnelly All-Ireland Poc Fada title on the Cooley Mountains on August 3, said someone like Kilkenny great and current Laois boss Eddie Brennan would be ideal.
“I’d like to see an outsider coming in, a no-bullshit manager that will just come in and say, ‘Listen, this is the way it is, if you’re not happy there’s the door. If you want to commit with me, we’re going to have a good year’,” said Kiely.
“I think that’s where it needs to go. A manager is kind of a step above, you have the craic with him but he can’t be your best friend, he can’t be listening to you whingeing that you’re not on the team.
“I think a Brian Cody kind of an outlook is what you need, a ruthlessness is where it needs to go now.”
Kiely admitted the Offaly seniors have hit a low point.
You can talk and say, ‘We’re going to win this game’ or whatever but deep down you’re nearly walking out of the dressing-room two days before the match saying, ‘Jaysus, I don’t think we will win it’. That needs to change.
Asked if there is another Eddie Brennan out there, Kiely nodded.
“I’d say there is,” he said. “Kilkenny is where I’d kind of be looking because they have won so much. You look at Henry Shefflin, you look at Eddie Brennan, as managers, they are taking that Brian Cody approach, that ruthlessness.
“I think that’s really the only way Offaly can progress. We (Kiely’s club, Kilcormac-Killoughey) hurled Ballyhale a couple of years ago in a Leinster final. We had them bet. They got a draw out of it. It went to extra-time and they were getting scores out of nowhere.
“They beat us by three points in the end. It was just like, there’s no dying in them. I think Eddie brought that to Laois and even Henry brought it to Ballyhale. It’s in them and someone like that could definitely bring Offaly to another level. It’s finding them is the thing, hopefully we can find someone.”