State of Offaly hurling ‘absolutely deplorable’

The former chairman of the now defunct Offaly hurling review/implementation group has described the state of the game in the county as “absolutely deplorable.”

Liam Hogan and his fellow committee members resigned en masse last week – and former Ballyboden St Enda’s manager Hogan has laid the blame firmly at the door of county board chiefs.

Offaly are seeking new senior football and hurling team managers – after Pat Flanagan was axed and Kevin Ryan stepped down – and Hogan has revealed that ‘total frustration’ led to mass resignations from the committee he was heading up.

Hogan said: “We resigned en bloc because we were absolutely totally frustrated with the lack of support and progress from the Offaly county board.”

The main source of frustration lies with the apparent lack of movement to implement key suggestions from the review group, which contains other high-calibre members.

Former county players Brian Carroll, David Kenny and Michael Verney were also involved, along with former Faithful County camogie stars Marion Crean and Mary Wyer.

Ger Scales, whose father Paddy is chairman of St Rynagh’s, was another key member, as well as strength and conditioning expert and former coach Cillian Farrell.

Hogan added: “We had a clear-the-air meeting on May 9 with them (county board), they promised they would keep the lines of communication open and keep us informed about anything that would directly affect the implementation committee.

“From May 9 until the day we resigned, we never received an email, fax, text or phone call from anybody at county board level, in eight weeks.

“They (county board) said the coaching and games committee is going to implement the plan – I’ve serious doubts about that.”

And when asked to sum the current state of Offaly hurling, he responded: “Absolutely deplorable – from the very top all the way to the bottom.”

Kevin Ryan stepped away from the senior hurling team manager’s post on Monday evening, and Hogan said: “I don’t know enough about the situation there, to be honest.

“I’m removed from that in that I was primarily focused on underage development in Offaly.

“My first cousin is Johnny Dooley, a selector with him (Ryan), and I’d be very friendly with Gary Cahill, the other coach/selector.

“They’re two great men who put their hands up to help Offaly hurling, when everybody else was running in the opposite direction. They deserve praise for getting involved, when nobody else wanted it.”

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