Thursday 22 March 2018

Wexford hurlers secure Butler services

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Paudie Butler will be joining the Wexford senior hurlers in a coaching capacity after all.

Model County manager Liam Dunne has confirmed that Butler will link up with his squad from next month onwards.

Butler will not be a selector and his input will be occasional, according to Dunne, who originally thought he had lost the services of the Tipperary man.

Dunne believed Butler was precluded from having any involvement with a county team because it was assumed that he was a full-time employee of the Association in a coaching capacity.

The GAA are opposed to their full-time coaches being involved with county and club teams, unless it is their own club.

But Butler's time as the national co-ordinator for hurling ended in 2011 and any work he has done since then has been on a contract basis, so he is a free agent, Croke Park have confirmed.

Dunne had initially been critical of the GAA over the issue, but he has since been in contact with Croke Park to clarify the matter.

"The matter has been cleared up, I'm happy to say. I had said that if Croke Park wanted to help Wexford hurling then this was one way they could do it, and they have helped with their clarification," he said.

"There is no issue and he's clear to help out with us. We need all the help we can get. I had never intended for him to be a selector anyway."

Butler is one of the game's most respected coaches and has experience at inter-county level, with Laois. His involvement with Wexford will essentially focus on skills work.

"He's not going to be available all the time for us, but I'm happy with what we'll get and it'll be perfect for the programmes I have," added Dunne, who admits that the challenge of the position was everything he expected it to be.

"It's a minefield and I didn't realise how many mines were in the field," he laughed.

"I saw an article where we were rated ninth at the end of the 2011 and at the end of last season we had gone back to 10th.

"We can have no complaints about that at all. The results and performances reflect that, but I couldn't ask for any more commitment from the players than I have been getting."

Dunne will be without promising full-back Matthew O'Hanlon, who is studying abroad, and he also confirmed that Ciaran Lyng is unlikely to be involved with the hurlers this season. Lyng is recovering from a hip injury.

Irish Independent

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport