Tuesday 17 September 2019

Francis Forde on Offaly radar after Galway departure

Galway selector Francis Forde. Photo: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile
Galway selector Francis Forde. Photo: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile
Michael Verney

Michael Verney

Francis Forde is expected to come on the radar of Offaly chiefs in the coming weeks for the vacant position of Faithful senior hurling manager after parting ways as coach with Galway following the resignation of Micheál Donoghue.

Turloughmore clubman Forde is likely to be much sought after given his impressive CV having played an important hand in the Tribesmen lifting Liam MacCarthy during four successful years working under Donoghue's stewardship.

Offaly hurling is in a perilous state having slipped to hurling's third tier following relegation to the Christy Ring Cup after Joachim Kelly's unsuccessful interim reign having replaced Kevin Martin following his sacking midway through the Joe McDonagh Cup.

The next appointment is crucial given how far they have slipped in recent years but there has been little sign of movement to fill the Faithful hotseat in the 10 weeks since Offaly suffered relegation at the hands of Kerry.

Having taught in Banagher College for many years - where he guided them to an All-Ireland Vocational Schools title in 2010 - Forde is likely to be top of the wish list having worked as a coach with the Offaly senior side under Joe Dooley in 2011 before taking charge of St Rynagh's.

His three years at the helm saw successive county final defeats before St Rynagh's got over the line in 2016 to end a 23-year spell without Offaly honours and his knowledge of the club scene would make him an obvious choice for the job.

Kilkenny legend DJ Carey, former Waterford boss Derek McGrath as well as this year's U-20 boss Gary Cahill are other names which are likely to be in the mix as the appointment moves at a snail's pace despite the need to get the next manager firmed up for next season.

McGrath didn't rule out the prospect of such an inter-county management return last week when asked if the vacant Cork or Offaly post would appeal to him.

GAA Newsletter

Expert GAA analysis straight to your inbox.

"They'd all interest me, it's just I'd be in the 20 per cent category of a) would I be considered, and b) would I have the energy or the know-how to do it, I suppose," McGrath said.

"I'm open to it to but I'm only partially open to it. I'd be leaning towards not getting involved this year but something could change my mind very easily."

Irish Independent

The Throw-In: 'Jim Gavin has achieved what Mick O'Dwyer and Brian Cody couldn't do'

In association with Bord Gáis Energy

Also in Sport