Eoin Cadogan: No ready-made replacement if Kieran Kingston walks away

Kingston is understood to have been offered an extension following Cork's All-Ireland quarter-final defeat to Galway which marked the completion of a three-year agreement.
Eoin Cadogan: No ready-made replacement if Kieran Kingston walks away

OFFER ON THE TABLE: Cork manager Kieran Kingston. ©INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

Former Cork defender Eoin Cadogan reckons there's no obvious candidate to step up and replace Kieran Kingston if the current boss knocks back a one-year extension offer.

Kingston is understood to have been offered the extension following Cork's All-Ireland quarter-final defeat to Galway which marked the completion of a three-year agreement.

Another former Cork player, Mark Landers, has suggested that there may be an element of 'succession planning' at play and that members of Kingston's current backroom team could potentially step up at the end of the 2023 season.

Cadogan, who started last year's All-Ireland final for Cork before retiring in November, said it is significant firstly that the players appear to want Kingston to stay on.

Speaking in his capacity as an ambassador for All-Ireland minor hurling championship sponsors Electric Ireland, Cadogan said the other important thing is that there aren't any obvious alternatives.

"If that offer is on the table for 12 months, I'm sure Kieran will sit down with his family and the county board and probably the players as well to see if it's the right decision for both Cork firstly and for himself," said Cadogan.

"I don't think anyone would question really his contribution, and the people that would be saying, 'It's time to move on', of course there's a time to move on and there's always another person out there but the question is, who would that person be if Kieran was to step away?

"Because there isn't any ready-made replacement. There's a huge amount of excellent hurling coaches out there but there's a big, big difference between being an inter-county hurling manager and being a coach or a selector and you can't forget about those things.

"It's easy to say, 'Yeah, move on' but who do you want to replace him and who has put his hand up that you can say he has delivered at inter-county level in whatever capacity or has been part of a setup longer than 12 months? There probably isn't a massive standout candidate right now, I don't think."

The pool of potential managers, and some with proven track records, widens of course if you look outside the county though Cadogan believes Cork wouldn't countenance such a break from tradition.

"Well based off history alone I couldn't (see it), like, you know? They haven't done it to date.

"There's probably a sense within Cork that because of the hurling tradition that we have, and the type of success and the type of coaches and managers that we've had, the people we have in Cork, that there's always someone who has that capability to step up to the mantle when it comes to it.

"Who that person is if Kieran decides to step away, I don't know. As I said, there's a huge difference between coaching and management and also, filling a role like manager, you need huge management skills and need to be a really good communicator and a good organiser and I suppose the guys that are underneath you ultimately should be facilitating your coaching philosophy and style of play. That's what all good teams do.

"I would imagine that John Kiely in Limerick is the main man there and (Paul) Kinnerk is obviously delivering that style and philosophy that they both believe can get them competing to win All-Irelands, and that's very obvious.

"So only time will tell but give Kieran the time and the decency to let him make that decision and if he decides not to go back then it's a case of more than likely looking internally moreso than looking externally, if I'm being honest. I can't see them going outside."

Cadogan described Cork's defeat to Galway as 'one that got away' given the amount of opportunities they failed to convert - a dozen wides in the first-half and 17 overall - during the one-point defeat.

"I think in total they left 3-17 behind them, they had three one-on-one chances in the first-half for goals. They had 12 wides by half-time and I think I read their scoring efficiency was 27%.

"The opportunities were there for them. I think that will be the most frustrating thing for the squad, that they didn't walk out of it, like after last year's All-Ireland final, saying, 'We were comprehensively beaten'. Losing by a point and leaving all those opportunities behind you is hugely frustrating."

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