Saturday 16 December 2017

Whelahan: It's time for a new voice

Brian Whelahan:
Brian Whelahan: "I did the very best I could – now it’s time for a change"
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

Brian Whelahan resigned as Offaly manager because he believed he had taken the squad as far as he could and that it was time for someone else to move in.

"Maybe a new voice in the dressing-room will make a difference. I did the very best I could - now it's time for a change," he said.

Offaly won only one Championship game during Whelahan's two years in charge, beating Antrim last season.

"The last number of years have been disappointing - no question. Our Championship results just weren't good enough, but it certainly wasn't for want of trying by the players or management," he added.

"We have to accept in Offaly that we are playing catch-up. New processes are in place - especially at underage level - which will bring about an improvement, but it won't happen overnight."

Offaly's supply lines have been broken for a long time, reducing the talent stream at senior level.

"We won our last Leinster minor hurling title in 2000 and if you look at the structures of the counties we were competing well with then, we fell way behind," said Whelahan.

"A lot of work has gone into changing structures at underage level and I'm sure it will bring results but, for now, we're in a tough spot."

Having lost to Laois for the first time since 1972 in this year's Leinster Championship, Offaly will be in the province's round-robin section with next season.

Whelahan believes that it will be helpful to the new manager, offering an opportunity for new players to earn valuable experience.

"There are some good young players coming through," he said. "We're not where we want to be, but we have to accept that and make sure the work continues to change things."

Irish Independent

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