Wednesday 18 July 2018

Martin leads running for Offaly hurling job

Stephen Wallace. Photo: Sportsfile
Stephen Wallace. Photo: Sportsfile

Sam Wheeler

Offaly GAA chairman Tommy Byrne told the County Board meeting last night that they are closing in on their next senior hurling manager, with former All-Ireland winning defender Kevin Martin believed to be the leading contender.

Martin previously managed his native Tullamore to a county title back in 2009, while he has guided Clough-Ballacolla to a senior hurling crown in Laois. He also managed Westmeath to Christy Ring Cup success.

The meeting did ratify Kerry native Stephen Wallace as the new senior football manager with former Kerry and Laois footballer Billy Sheehan also confirmed as part of his coaching ticket having been involved with Cork last year.

Leinster GAA chairman Jim Bolger confirmed yesterday that sending Dublin on the road has cost them a lot of money, but stressed the positives outweigh the negatives - adding that the All-Ireland champions can expect to leave the comforts of Croke Park again next summer. "We took a hit in the pocket - we'll be doing our accounts shortly," said Bolger. "But it's not all about finances. The plus is the promotion of the game.

"It's not written in stone but it has worked well the last two years - we'll look at what the draw is (tomorrow)."

Bolger conceded that it is not all about 'romance' and pointed out that any ground hosting the Dubs would have to pass certain capacity and safety requirements - the Association have to be able to honour season tickets sold to Dublin fans.

Meanwhile, Colm O'Rourke has repeated his call for Dublin to be split into three as a GAA entity, claiming that the capital's domination of the Sam Maguire Cup will go on "indefinitely" unless something is changed.

"It's a no-brainer," said the Meath legend. "If you're involved with the GAA, you should be looking at opportunities, giving more opportunities to young players to play with Dublin."

Irish Independent

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