High-profile trio do battle to replace Gilroy at Dublin helm
The race to replace Pat Gilroy as Dublin hurling manager looks set to be contested by three high-profile candidates but no decision will be made until after the county's SHC final on Sunday week.
Gilroy's resignation after just one season at the helm due to work commitments came as a shock following a promising campaign and it is understood that his successor will be either Mattie Kenny, Anthony Daly or Anthony Cunningham.
Having led Cuala to back-to-back All-Ireland club titles and been a frontrunner for the position last season, Kenny is the choice of many but he will have his work cut out with former Dubs boss, and current Kilmacud Crokes manager, Daly also said to be in the mix.
The presence of former Galway boss Cunningham - who worked as coach under Gilroy and worked with Kenny when the Tribesmen reached the 2012 decider - would add continuity to the transition process in what is the only high-profile hurling position still to be filled ahead of the 2019 season.
Dublin's opening Leinster SHC game will take place on May 11/12 against Kilkenny in Nowlan Park as the Leinster Council followed the lead of their Munster counterparts to make important structural changes to the provincial round-robin campaign.
The revamp will see group games run over six weeks (May 11-June 16) rather than five to ensure that no team has to play four games in consecutive weeks, as Offaly and Wexford had to do this year.
One man who won't be playing any part in the 2019 championship, however, is Waterford's Ian O'Regan after the long-serving goalkeeper brought the curtain down on his Déise career yesterday.
Having served as understudy to current All-Star net-minder Stephen O'Keeffe, 35-year-old O'Regan departs the inter-county hurling scene having made his debut in 2004.
The Mount Sion custodian served under four different Waterford managers, winning provincial and league honours, but new Déise boss Páraic Fanning will have to plan without his services for next season.
Elsewhere, Galway native Shane Kelly has taken the reins with London's hurlers where the Brother Pearses clubman will be assisted by Henry Vaughan, Eoin Kelly and Stephen Frawley.