Counihan could follow Sheedy’s lead
One All-Ireland-winning manager quitting while he's ahead, now the spotlight is turning on another.
Conor Counihan is expected to decide in the next week whether he will be staying on as the Cork football manager.
The spectre of Liam Sheedy's departure in Tipperary will resonate in Cork where confidence that Counihan will commit to another term in charge is not high.
Counihan and Sheedy have followed very similar pathways to success -- losing an All-Ireland semi-final in their first year in charge, reaching a final in the second and finally being crowned champions in their third year at the helm. There are real fears on Leeside that Counihan, like Sheedy, could decide that now is as good a time as any to get out.
Sheedy's departure, with coach Eamon O'Shea and selector Michael Ryan, has come as a surprise.
A statement from the Tipperary County Board and from the management team yesterday confirmed that they had brought their three-year term to an end.
The Tipperary Board had offered the trio another two years in charge but pressure of work and family life was deemed to be too great to continue giving the commitment that they had been.
"We have found ourselves working up to 16-hour days in order to deliver in both roles and this is simply not sustainable on an ongoing basis. This has led to our decision to stand down," the management's statement read.
One of the favourites to replace them, the Tipperary U-21 manager Ken Hogan, has ruled himself out of contention.
Hogan, senior manager in 2004 and 2005, said yesterday that he had "been there, bought the T-shirt and wouldn't be putting my hat in the ring".
The names of Nicky English and Tommy Dunne are sure to feature in any succession race but, like Sheedy, work commitments are likely to preclude English.