Thursday 19 September 2019

Strong mood for change

Cork duo linked to Senior hurling management post

The name of Corkman Jerry Wallace, from Midleton, has been linked to the post of Wexford Senior hurling manager
The name of Corkman Jerry Wallace, from Midleton, has been linked to the post of Wexford Senior hurling manager

Brendan Furlong

Wexford clubs have been asked to submit nominations for the positions of county Senior hurling and football managers with a closing date of Friday, August 19.

Liam Dunne, who was given a one-year extension last year, has completed five years in charge of the hurlers, with speculation now rife as to a likely successor.

While Dunne's club, Oulart-The Ballagh, has performed a dramatic 'U-Turn' in nominating him for re-appointment, it's understood that several people have expressed an interest in the post, with no front runner emerging at the moment.

Last year Oulart-The Ballagh failed to propose or second the call from County Chairman, Diarmuid Devereux, for a one-year extension for Dunne when the proposal came before a full County Board meeting.

Dunne only received an extension on the proposal of Central Council delegate, Tony Dempsey, with the clubs, including Oulart-The Ballagh, remaining silent during the election call.

Now the club has changed tack, deciding at a meeting on Wednesday night to nominate Dunne for re-election to the post, although their current club coach, Frank Flannery, who is also a member of the Cork backroom set-up, has expressed an interest.

Several names are in circulation as to who is likely to take over at the helm of hurling, with Cork's Jerry Wallace, very much to the forefront among enthusiasts in the county.

Wallace was coach to the All-Ireland winning Cork team under Donal O'Grady, while he managed Antrim to a league success over the Model county in Casement Park in Liam Dunne's first game in charge in 2012. It is also understood that should Wallace be successful he would have a top-class coach as part of his backroom team.

The Chairman, Diarmuid Devereux, said the posts of Senior hurling and football managers have now been thrown open to the clubs asking for nominations.

'We will discuss the matter following the closing date,' he said.

But right now the general mood in the county is one for change, with leading hurling enthusiasts and clubs believing this is the appropriate time for a new man to take over at the helm of hurling affairs in the county, a factor that is going to influence clubs in their nominations.

Numerous clubs now believe that a fresh voice is needed to bring this group of young players further in their bid to become major players in deciding the destination of the Liam MacCarthy Cup in 2017.

Wexford have also begun their search for a Senior football manager as the result of the resignation of David Power, with clubs also asked for nominations.

While several expressions of interest in the football post have come from outside the county, some of whom are likely to be given serious consideration, an interesting nomination likely to come before the committee is a trio of former players, David Murphy, Redmond Barry and Colm Morris, as a joint management team.

Meanwhile, J.J. Doyle, has stepped down as the county's Under-21 hurling manager after four years at the helm.

During his time in charge, Doyle led the county to three successive Leinster titles, while qualifying for two All-Ireland finals.

This year they relinquished their provincial crown with an opening round defeat to Dublin at Innovate Wexford Park.

Doyle led Wexford to their most successful period of modern times in Under-21 hurling with those three successive provincial titles. While he may have been disappointed with this year's early exit, it once again demonstrates the pressure that is applied to players when seeking that elusive four-in-a-row.

However, it is hoped that Doyle will not be lost to under-age hurling in the county as he has still a major contribution to make, wherever his next appointment takes him.

Wexford's saga does not end here as the county is also seeking managers for the Intermediate hurling, Junior and Under-21 football posts, previously held by Dunne and Power respectively.

Wexford People