Denis Ring has stepped down as Cork U20 hurling manager.
Ring has informed the executive of the Cork County Board that he and his management team will not be seeking a further term in charge and so Cork are now looking for minor, U20, and senior hurling managers.
Ring, who previously oversaw the Cork minor hurlers in the early noughties, returned as minor manager in 2014, stepping up to U21 in 2018. That age-group dropped to U20 this year.
Ring guided the county to minor, U21, and U20 All-Ireland finals in 2017, ‘18, and ‘19, with Cork coming off second best in all three deciders.
He did oversee Munster minor and U21 silverware in 2017 and 2018.
Cork chairperson Tracey Kennedy, addressing delegates at last night’s county board meeting, said there was no update with regard to the vacant management posts at senior and minor level.
Kennedy has previously stated the process to find a successor to John Meyler will not be rushed. It is now a month and a half since Meyler departed as Cork senior hurling manager.
Kennedy confirmed newly-appointed high-performance manager Aidan O’Connell will commence his role in early October.
“We can expect to see Aidan’s impact very early,” said Kennedy.
“One of the things that really pleases me when I look at our U17 and U20 victories is that I know those players are moving into a set-up where this is somebody whose job it will be to make sure they are brought through and that their potential is maximised.
“When you look at the U17s, there is quite a gap to U20. And there is quite a gap from 20 to senior so to have a high- performance manager to guide those players is absolutely vital.”
The chairperson stressed the importance of building on Cork’s two All-Ireland victories. “Real success is how many of these go on to play senior football for Cork. It is what we do with this minor win that matters. There is no point putting it on the shelf, patting ourselves on the back, and telling ourselves, we’re great. It is what we do with it that counts.
“I want to acknowledge the change to the structure of the Munster MFC and the work put in by Marc Sheehan (vice-chairman) and others to bring about that change. That change was crucial to where we got this year. I said on the morning of the All-Ireland minor final that even if we didn’t win, we were still playing football into September and that is hugely beneficial to the players involved.”
Kennedy added: “As a board and a county, we’ve put a huge focus on football in the past 12 months and there has been a lot of commentary about the football plan and its apparent massive success.
“We know that is not the case. We know the massive work that has been going on for many, many years.
“The investment we have made this year in terms of time, in terms of personnel, and in terms of the new people we have employed has been rewarded in the results our players have delivered and we hope to see that continue in the years ahead. It has not been an easy time over the last few years so it is great to have that success this year.”
Responding to queries from the floor, the chairperson clarified there will be no rugby game played at Páirc Uí Chaoimh in 2019. It had been mooted the venue could play host to a Guinness PRO14 clash involving Munster during the Christmas period.
“It is clear and obvious to everyone that some preliminary negotiations took place. It didn’t get beyond commercial negotiations. It was at an exploratory stage.
“Is it something that might happen in the future, I cannot say. It is probably not going to happen this year,” Kennedy remarked.