Donal Moloney’s hopes of remaining in charge of Clare are in doubt as the board’s executive are given serious consideration to “other options”.
Although Moloney — joint manager with Gerry O’Connor last year — was invited to put his name forward, county chairman Joe Cooney confirmed that officials were also exploring alternatives to the Scarriff man taking sole charge of the team in 2020.
The news comes as senior hurling team media manager Mark Dunphy yesterday claimed Moloney and the players had been ‘disrespected’ by the hold-up in the selection process.
Before O’Connor stepped down last month, Moloney confirmed he wished to stay on in charge for a fourth season.
Clare exited the Munster and All-Ireland SHCs on June 16, and there has been little or no movement in ascertaining who will be in charge in 2020.
Cooney, who spoke to Moloney last week, said: “When Gerry pulled out, the management team was broken up so it had to be treated in different circumstances, in fairness. We then sat down with Donal and told him we would be exploring other options and it was up to him if he wanted to leave his name in the race or not.
Donal and Gerry were initially given a two-year term, which was extended to this year, and that term ended in the Munster championship. I said at the last county board meeting that we hoped to make an announcement at the next meeting, which should be on Tuesday week.
"We’re sizing up what options we have. Donal has made known he wants to remain in the fray, his name is there and we will be talking to him down the road.”
Dunphy, who has assisted the team of Moloney and O’Connor as well as Davy Fitzgerald before them, posted on Twitter: “One person has publicly confirmed their interest in the Clare senior hurling job. County final coming up and still no management appointed or an indication of what the selection process is. Massively disrespectful to Donal Moloney and the players who deserve better.”
O’Connor’s son Niall, who has been a member of the Clare backroom team, also tweeted in support of Moloney yesterday: “I have seen the sacrifices the man vying for the Clare senior hurling job has given to Clare over the last two decades. The way he has been treated in the past few weeks is awful, basically kept on a piece of string, listening to rumours and looking at false newspaper articles.
“Players and clubs should be asking questions how this is been (sic) handled and look at how our competitors are conducting their business.
“Regardless of who is over them, I’m sure we will rise again but that man (Moloney) deserves more than what he’s getting now.”
O’Connor himself endorsed Moloney last month: “I wish Donal and the management team all the best in the future and I hope they will be asked to consider another term.”
A review of hurling in the county, which was proposed by club delegates, is expected to be concluded soon with soundings having been taken from management, players, prominent hurling figures in the county as well as those involved at development level.
Clare have also to confirm their U20 and minor management teams for next season.
The new manager will have to plan without 2018 All-Star Peter Duggan next season as he intends spending the year in Australia.
It was confirmed yesterday TG4 will broadcast live coverage of the Clare SHC final between Davy Fitzgerald-managed Sixmilebridge and Cratloe in Cusack Park on Sunday week. It is the neighbours’ first-ever meeting in a senior decider.