Counihan 'expected' to remain as Cork boss25/09/2012 - 17:36:50
Conor Counihan is expected to continue as Cork football manager next season but is said to be considering changing his management team according to tonight's Evening Echo.
It’s understood news of Counihan’s pending decision will be relayed to delegates at the next meeting of the county board at Páirc Uí Chaoimh this night week. Counihan, who will be 53 on Friday, is believed to have changed his mind in the wake of the All-Ireland semi-final defeat by Donegal.
The CEO of the St Joseph’s Foundation in Charleville had intimated his desire to step down and end his reign as manager which stretches back to February 2008.
But, it’s believed the Aghada-man will seek another season at the helm, where he is likely to be joined by John Cleary, who has been the U21 manager since ’08 also, when he took over from Tony Leahy.
Current senior selectors Jim Nolan, Terry O’Neill, Ger O’Sullivan and Peader Healy are awaiting developments with Counihan balancing the need for continuity and freshening up things at the same time.
One of the first requirements of the new management team will be to address the growing speculation about Aidan Walsh, who is believed to have expressed an interest in joining Jimmy Barry-Murphy’s hurling set-up.
Walsh will try to juggle both codes with Cork in the same way Eoin Cadogan has been doing in the past couple of years, though the Duhallow captain will be based in Dublin attending DCU.
During Counihan’s term Cork won an All-Ireland title in 2010, three Munster championships and four leagues, three in division one and the other in division two.
Cleary played with Cork between 1983 and ’93 and is a contemporary of Counihan’s. The Castlehaven man was an U21 selector between 2004-07, when Cork won four Munster titles on the spin and the All-Ireland in 2007.
As U21 manager Cleary guided Cork to another All-Ireland in 2009 and won Munster titles this season and last before losing All-Ireland semi-finals to the eventual champions, Galway and Dublin respectively.
Meanwhile, new Kerry boss Eamonn Fitzmaurice is set to add highly respected physical trainer Cian O’Neill to his set-up for next season.
Kildare native O’Neill was acclaimed for his work with the Tipp hurlers that landed the 2010 All-Ireland and Mayo over the past two seasons. He was also involved in the 2009 Munster club winning Newtown hurling side.
In the Premier County Eamonn O’Shea, the 2010 coach alongside Liam Sheedy, is expected to replace Declan Ryan at the helm.
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