Tuesday 23 January 2018

Limerick: Eight managers since the turn of the millennium

Few county teams have had such a managerial turnover as the Limerick hurlers since 2000. John Allen's successor will be their ninth manager this century.

2000-2002: Eamonn Cregan

Appointed in late 1997 within weeks of Tom Ryan leading Limerick to a National League title, he was in charge for five seasons, during which Limerick reached one Munster final (2001) and one All-Ireland quarter-final (2001), losing both. Cregan resigned briefly in 2002 and was replaced by selector Mossie Carroll, but he returned to the role shortly afterwards.

2003: Dave Keane

He enjoyed great success with the county's U-21s, but survived only one season with the seniors.

2004-05 (March): Pad Joe Whelahan

Limerick looked outside and secured the services of the famous Offaly man. It didn't work, however, and he left during the 2005 National League campaign.

2005 (April)-2006 (June): Joe McKenna

Limerick went back to one of their own, but it lasted only 14 months for McKenna before he resigned after a big defeat by Clare in the All-Ireland qualifiers.

2006 (June)-2008: Richie Bennis

The former All-Ireland medal winner was next up and led Limerick to the 2007 All-Ireland final, via the qualifiers, where they lost to Kilkenny.

2009-2010: Justin McCarthy

It was back to the outside trail as Limerick looked to Cork and a man who had spent seven seasons as Waterford manager. Limerick reached the 2009 All-Ireland semi-final where they lost heavily to Tipperary. A major controversy erupted at the start of his second year when most of the top names refused to join the panel after a row over the manner in which several players had been omitted. Limerick ended up fielding a largely second-string team in 2010 and made no headway.

2011: Donal O'Grady

Back to Cork again and this time it worked. O'Grady stabilised Limerick in 2011and while they lost narrowly to Waterford in the Munster championship and to Dublin in the All-Ireland quarter-finals, the seeds were sown for a solid future.

2012-2013: John Allen

Having succeeded O'Grady as the Cork hurling manager at the end of 2004, Allen did likewise in Limerick seven years later and after an encouraging opening season in 2012, he steered them to their first Munster title for 17 years with their defeat of Cork last July.

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