Tuesday 17 September 2019

Michael Fennelly given job to 'bring pride' back to Offaly hurling

Fennelly will take the job on a two-year basis with an option for a third. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Fennelly will take the job on a two-year basis with an option for a third. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Conor McKeon

Michael Fennelly is set to become the next Offaly senior hurling manager.

The eight-time Kilkenny All-Ireland winner is the choice of the Offaly management committee, according to a statement released by the county board last night.

Fennelly, who captained Ballyhale Shamrocks to this year's club All-Ireland, had been working with the Kildare footballers in the role of performance coach during Cian O'Neill's final season in charge.

He will take the job on a two-year basis with an option for a third.

"The aim of this appointment is to bring pride and stability back to the Offaly jersey with the support of Michael and his backroom team," read the statement.

The appointment represents a coup for Offaly, whose fall from grace accelerated to alarming depths this year.

Under Kevin Martin, they finished fifth in Division 1B and were relegated to the newly-restructured Division 2A for 2020 after losing a relegation play-off with Carlow.

Worse still was their demotion to the Christy Ring Cup, the third tier of championship hurling, after losing all four of their Joe McDonagh matches.

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In May, Martin was relieved of his duties, with Joachim Kelly taking over on an interim basis for their subsequent matches against Antrim and Kerry, both of which Offaly lost.

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