LIMERICK GAA chiefs are set to appoint Mayo native Maurice Horan as their new senior football boss.
Interviews for the position to succeed Mickey Ned O’Sullivan concluded last week and following a meeting on Wednesday evening, the Football Board executive have decided to propose Horan’s candidature for ratification. The recommendation goes to a Football Board meeting on Tuesday and, if successful, a full County Board meeting.
Horan served as selector this season under O’Sullivan and it is understood that Shannonside chiefs were keen to retain continuity for the squad. Horan was also Limerick U21 boss this year and will combine that role in 2011.
The new manager played intercounty football for both Mayo and Limerick, making his senior debut for the Connacht side in 2003 before work commitments saw him move to Limerick and link up with Liam Kearns’ inter-county squad. Former Nemo Rangers boss Ephie Fitzgerald who was at the helm during the county’s senior football title four-in-a-row between 2005 and 2008, will be brought on board as the team trainer.
Meanwhile, Cork defender Ray Carey has backed Conor Counihan to remain in charge and guide Cork to more All-Ireland titles.
The manager indicated that he will take a few weeks before deciding on his managerial future after guiding the Rebels to their first national title in 20 years last Sunday.
And while defender Carey appreciates Counihan’s desire to enjoy the moment, he wants the Aghada man and his backroom team in place again next year so that they can chase further success.
“You’d love the backroom team to stay the same,” he said, speaking at the launch of the Pele Sports shop in Dublin’s Temple Bar. “From masseurs to stats men. Obviously Conor is the most visible aspect of that team. The amount of time, effort and professionalism they bring is extraordinary. You’d hope that they stay on, but they deserve to just enjoy this for a couple of weeks and not worry about staying on or anything like that. You want them to stay, with nobody leaving or retiring and then we could push on and achieve the same again next year.
“A lot of us won U21 All-Ireland medals in 2007 and 2009. We have the Division One and Division Two titles so there is no reason that this team can’t go on and win one or two more All-Irelands. What we experienced this week is something that we want to experience again and again.
“Football is very strong in Cork at the moment and you would hope we wouldn’t be waiting another 20 years before we savour success again.”
Cork attacker Donncha O’Connor, speaking yesterday in Cork after receiving a Boardwalk Bar Sports Star of the Month Award, also believes the long-serving members of the squad still have plenty to offer at intercounty level.
“I was talking to Quirkey (Alan Quirke) the other night and I’d be hopeful he’ll have another year or two left in it. Obviously John Miskella is the same. It suited Miskella this year that he got injured and didn’t have to play a lot of league games and then he was fresh come championship. Graham wouldn’t be as old as them but he’s had a lot of injury problems and Nicholas has been the same. If they can just stay injury free, they’ll give it a serious rattle again next year. Just trying to stay injury free is the problem. But Conor is always talking about the panel of players so we could afford to give a few of them a few months off at the start of next year and then get them right for the summer. There’s plenty left in those lads so I’d hope they’d hold tough.”
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