Wednesday 21 February 2018

McCarthy thumbs up for new Treaty bosses

Cliona Foley

Cliona Foley

LIMERICK'S latest All Star Richie McCarthy has given his firm backing to the Treaty County's new hurling management.

Donal O'Grady and TJ Ryan were ratified as joint managers last night. They were given a two year term with Paul Beary (Na Piarsaigh) and Mark Lyons (Kilmallock) as selectors and lyons also continues as strength and conditioning coach.

"We've worked with them both previously – TJ (Ryan) was a selector with Donal (O'Grady) before – so they know us well, and are the best men for the job," he said of last night's joint managerial appointment.

Less than 24 hours earlier McCarthy got big news himself: that he'd become Limerick's first All Star in six years.

"I was actually in bed and first heard when I started getting these texts around midnight," he revealed.

"I was surprised more than anything and it's great, especially for my parents and family, but I'm not one for individual stuff, I'd prefer team honours."

Limerick had seven players nominated on the back of their Munster title but McCarthy was the only one selected; he was picked at corner-back, despite lining out at full-back for his county.

When Ryan and O'Grady were last in charge of Limerick, McCarthy was lining out in the forwards, where he was top-scoring when he helped his club Blackrock to win an All-Ireland junior title in 2009-10.

The switch to defence came thanks to outgoing county manager John Allen, and McCarthy had no qualms about making the switch.

"If you're a good enough hurler you should be able to play anywhere. I used to play wing or corner-forward for the club but now I'm playing centre-back for them. When I got my chance with the county I just took it and thankfully it's worked out," he said.

The Waterford IT sports management graduate was inundated with good wishes at work in the leisure centre at Adare's Dunraven Arms hotel.

"It's the sort of award that will mean more to me when I've finished playing but it is nice to get it, especially after we finished the season on a bit of a low," he said of the All-Ireland semi-final loss to Clare.

Meanwhile, Down's former two-time All-Ireland winning manager Pete McGrath is the new Fermanagh senior football manager.

McGrath, who succeeds Peter Canavan, has just finished a three-year term with the Down minors. He has been given a three-year contract, to be reviewed annually.

Irish Independent

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