Fitzgerald the favourite as Clare manager search begins
Clare will officially begin the process of appointing a new hurling manager when a committee is formed next week to look for a successor to Ger O'Loughlin.
By then it will have been well in excess of two months since O'Loughlin stood down after two years in charge following a heavy qualifier defeat to Galway.
The pace of the effort to seek a successor has been slow, however, and nominations for the position are only due to close this Friday.
The committee will be headed by chairman Michael O'Neill and it is expected to contain a number of past Clare players whose identities won't be known until the nominations are in to avoid any possible clash of interest.
Naturally, Davy Fitzgerald is the favourite, having vacated the Waterford job two weeks ago, but it will be at least October before a name can be officially ratified by Clare board.
Waterford, Offaly, Limerick, Galway and Wexford are all seeking to fill hurling management vacancies in what is one of the busiest off-seasons in recent times.
There have been attempts to link Fitzgerald with the job in Galway, but the firm momentum is behind the Galway U-21 management team headed by Anthony Cunningham.
A six-man committee has been tasked with seeking a replacement for Fitzgerald in Waterford. Chairman Tom Cunningham, vice-chairman John O'Leary, secretary Timmy O'Keeffe and treasurer Joe Cleary, along with club delegates Seamus Quirke (De La Salle) and John McDonnell (Tallow) hope to have a recommendation in place for the October meeting. With Fergal Hartley withdrawing, Michael Ryan's expression of interest has put him in the reckoning.