Loughnane tipped for Galway post as Limerick back Bennis

GER LOUGHNANE’S six-year absence from the inter-county arena may be close to ending dramatically, following the disclosure that he is interested in taking over as Galway hurling manager.

And in Limerick they could be close to finding a replacement for hurling manager Joe McKenna.

The special committee set up by the County Board to select a replacement for McKenna announced last night that they would be proposing Richie Bennis to delegates at next Tuesday’s county board meeting.

Bennis will be the only candidate put forward for ratification. He took over on a temporary basis after the departure of McKenna.

After being asked if he would be interested in the Galway job, Ger Loughnane confirmed that he had agreed to let his name go forward. He suggested yesterday he is interested in getting back into management, only 48 hours after categorically denying he was a contender for the Galway job.

One obstacle to him taking over in Galway is the considerable loss of income he would incur by having to give up his media commitments.

Justin McCarthy should know soon if Waterford will keep him at the helm, while it will be some time yet before Laois decide on a replacement for Mick O’Dwyer.

Laois set up an interview committee in mid-week to recommend a new football manager and the understanding is that while former Limerick boss Liam Kearns is interested, he hasn’t been interviewed so far.

On the hurling front, the Laois board is said to be a long way off choosing a manager. Former Kilkenny player Lester Ryan, recently appointed coaching coordinator for Carlow and Laois, is said to be interested in establishing a pilot development squad of 22/23 year-olds.

Outgoing Meath football manager Eamonn Barry’s chances of re-election may have been damaged by his decision to organise a meeting of players on Monday night in the face of advice to the contrary by board executives.

Barry wanted to outline his plans for next year to players, but has not been ratified for the 2007 season by the board, and faces opposition from Tommy Dowd, Paddy Carr and Colm Coyle.

“He was requested not to do so by the management committee of the Meath board,” said chairman Brendan Dempsey.

lMick O’Dwyer announced he was definitely quitting as Laois boss in his Irish Examiner column 48 hours after the county was defeated by Mayo in the All-Ireland quarter final — and over two weeks before it found its way into sections of the print media elsewhere.

Last night he declared: “I’ve no idea how this resurfaced this week, it’s a non-story. That decision was made a long time ago and confirmed when we were beaten by Mayo.”



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