Wednesday 25 April 2018

Eddie Brennan steps down as Kilkenny U21 manager

19 August 2017; Kilkenny manager Eddie Brennan before the Bord Gáis Energy GAA Hurling All-Ireland U21 Championship Semi-Final match between Kilkenny and Derry at Semple Stadium in Tipperary. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
19 August 2017; Kilkenny manager Eddie Brennan before the Bord Gáis Energy GAA Hurling All-Ireland U21 Championship Semi-Final match between Kilkenny and Derry at Semple Stadium in Tipperary. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Eight-time All-Ireland winner Eddie Brennan has resigned from his role as Kilkenny U21 manager.

The Kilkenny County Board confirmed Brennan's departure on Saturday morning and thanked the Graigue-Ballycallan clubman and his team for their contributions.

A County Board statement read:

"Kilkenny GAA has thanked Eddie Brennan and his management team of Richie Doyle, Richie O'Neill and Bob Aylward for their work with the squad over the past two years and wishes them well for the future The Board acknowledges the achievement of leading Kilkenny to their first Leinster title in this grade since 2012 and reaching the All Ireland Final for the first time also since 2012."

Kilkenny made the U21 All-Ireland final this year where they were soundly beaten by Munster champions Limerick.

Brennan hinted in an interview with Donnchadh Boyle in the Irish Independent earlier this month that he was having doubts over his suitability to management.

Brennan said that a two-point loss to Westmeath in last summer's Leinster U21 hurling quarter-final made him reflect on whether he could continue in the role.

"It was definitely a hell of a jolt," he recalls. "I probably was naive to some regard, but I suppose you weren't expecting that... I'll qualify that. All the things we felt we were at risk from in the build-up to that match came to pass and there was no satisfaction in saying I was right.

"There was a lot of factors. I suppose it made me reassess everything. It made me sit back and reflect and that's the process that has to go with defeats. The next three, four months you are just churning the whole thing around and try to make sense of it and where can we make sure that doesn't happen again.

"I'd be lying if I said there wasn't a part of me saying, 'God, would I just leave it. I don't know if I am cut out for this.'

"You certainly couldn't leave it on that. You say, 'Look, we'll have a go again and see where it takes us'.

"To be honest, we have probably worked that little bit harder from my own perspective. As a manager it opened my eyes as to what you need to do. I have got a serious appreciation for what inter-county managers do. It's massive, and even club managers, everyone, it just gave me a big understanding from that."

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