LIAM KEARNS could be set for a second spell as Limerick football manager.
The man who guided the fortunes of the Limerick senior footballers from 1999 to 2005 is one of six nominations to succeed Mickey Ned O’Sullivan on Shannonside. Ironically, O’Sullivan succeeded Kearns in 2005.
In his first spell in charge of the Treatymen, Kearns guided Limerick to Munster final appearances in 2003 and 2004 and saw his side play in Division One of the National League.
Limerick Football Board officials have confirmed that Kearns’ name is one of six candidates nominated by the clubs to succeed O’Sullivan, who had served for five years. However, officials also have the remit to source a manager from outside the short-list of six.
Also in the running is former Clare senior football manager John Kennedy and former Tipperary senior football manager Tom McGlinchey.
Kennedy was also nominated for the Limerick position back in 2005, when Mickey Ned O’Sullivan replaced Kearns.
McGlinchey was also previously linked to the Limerick role. The man who led Tipperary to a 2002 Munster final appearance was coach to the Ballylanders side that won the 2007 Limerick SFC title.
The three remaining nominees are John Cummins, John Brudair and Maurice Horan.
Cummins is a former Limerick footballer and in recent seasons has served as a selector with John Evans in the Tipperary senior football management. Maurice Horan has also played with Limerick. He also played for his native Mayo and this season was Limerick U21 manager and a selector with Mickey Ned O’Sullivan’s senior management.
The sixth candidate is John Brudair. Along with coach Ned English, Brudair has managed Dromcollogher-Broadford to back-to-back Limerick SFC titles and they remain in the hunt for a hat-trick of crowns.
Meanwhile Anthony Rainbow has confirmed his retirement from inter-county football in the wake of Kildare’s heartbreaking loss to Down in Sunday’s All-Ireland SFC semi-final.
The Suncroft legend brings two decades in the senior squad to an end ahead of his 39th birthday in October.
“I had it in my head at the start of the year that this would be my last one” said Rainbow yesterday.
“It would have been nice to finish being involved in an All-Ireland final or with an All-Ireland medal but it was probably the right time to retire. I’ve been there long enough.
“The body could have stayed going, my fitness wouldn’t have been a problem but the game has quickened so much and I probably wouldn’t be as quick as the others out there.
“I would have been on the bench for all of it probably too and for 95% of my career I’ve been on the pitch so I don’t think I would have been able for that. I was very emotional about it after the game on Sunday. I had my son with me as well and that probably added to the emotion.
“It does get to you thinking you’re not going to wear the Kildare jersey again. I will miss that and the friendship with the players I played with. There is no other feeling like being in a group, working hard and working for each other; nothing like it in the world.”
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