Cork should go with succession plan, says former star Tom Kenny

Former Cork hurler Tom Kenny believes the county should implement a succession plan when appointing the man to replace Jimmy Barry-Murphy as manager.

Barry-Murphy announced on Saturday night he had decided to step down midway through his two-year term. Many names, including former Cork captain Tomás Mulcahy, outgoing coach Mark Landers, his predecessor Kieran Kingston, former managers Donal O’Grady and John Allen as well as Pat Mulcahy and Pat Ryan have been mentioned as potential replacements, with sub-committee set to be appointed to fin the new manager.

To aid stability and avoid uncertainty, Kenny, an All-Ireland winner with Cork in 2004 and ’05 and who played under Barry-Murphy in 2012 and ’13, would like to see the new incumbent have his own successor as a selector.

“I know a lot of other counties don’t have it,” he said, “but we’ve seen Tipperary do it now with Michael Ryan taking over from Eamonn O’Shea. Instead of just having someone for two or three years and then going to an outside person again, it would provide stability.

“Jimmy is gone now and, for all we know, the four selectors are too and there’s nobody really paying close attention to any county championship games. If Jimmy had stepped down and one of the selectors had been appointed to move into the role, they’d be in a position to look at games, watching players at premier intermediate and intermediate as well.

“Whoever takes over, if you had someone like Pat Mul or Pat Ryan, if they were interested in a few years, you’d have them as a selector or in some role. They’d get to know the ropes– they’re good coaches anyway, so I’ve no doubt they’d be good if they got the job now – but they’d see how things worked and be able to formulate their own ideas for when they take over.”

While Cork’s year ended in a disappointing loss to Galway in the All-Ireland quarter-finals, Kenny believes whoever does success Barry-Murphy will have a lot to work with.

“If you look back at Jimmy’s four years,” he said, “he got to two Munster finals, two league finals and an All-Ireland final.

“Okay, they team only won one trophy but, at the same time, they were getting there, they were knocking on the door.

The talent is there, the potential is there. Jimmy just felt his four years were up and they needed a fresh voice, maybe that fresh voice coming in can push them over the line.

“There’s potential there definitely, without a doubt.”


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