independent

Friday 18 April 2014

Kingdom on lookout for new hurling manager as Howard quits

Tom Howard has stepped down from his position as Kerry hurling manager
Tom Howard has stepped down from his position as Kerry hurling manager

Kerry are searching for a new hurling manager after Tom Howard resigned last night.

Clare native Howard had been in charge for the last year and Kerry officials had expected him to stay on.

He took Kerry to the Christy Ring Cup final last June which they lost to Down.

Meanwhile, former Kerry football physical trainer Pat Flanagan has linked up with the Laois hurlers for the coming season.

Flanagan, who had previously worked with Val Andrews at IT Tralee and most recently was involved with former Waterford boss Michael Ryan as his fitness adviser, drew rich praise for his work with Kerry as they claimed the 2004 and 2006 All-Ireland titles under Jack O'Connor.

Campaign

Flanagan has been taken on by Laois hurling manager Seamus Plunkett who is seeking to build on a progressive 2013 campaign that saw them beat Antrim and Carlow in the Leinster championship and push Galway hard in the subsequent semi-final, losing by just seven points.

However, Laois are unlikely to have former dual player Cahir Healy next season.

Healy plans to travel for a year once Portlaoise's involvement in the club championships are over.

Healy was magnificent for Portlaoise in their semi-final win over Moorefield on Sunday.

He quit the football squad last March to concentrate exclusively on hurling for the year, a move of such significance that it gave Plunkett's squad added impetus at the time.

But he is back teaching in England in a temporary capacity and commuting each week until Portlaoise's season is at an end.

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