Jerome O’Connell looks at who the Limerick hurling clubs have appointed as manager for 2012.
Only three Limerick senior hurling clubs have yet to appoint a manager ahead of the coming season - Bruree, Knockainey and Murroe-Boher.
Over half of the clubs have opted for management changes ahead of the new season and the tradition of securing the services of an ‘outside’ coach is very much alive and well.
The list (right) includes two former inter-county senior hurling managers, another three with experience as inter-county senior selectors and four All-Stars winners.
As has been the scenario for the last number of years, almost half of the clubs have opted to cross the river Shannon to Clare in search of a trainer/coach.
While some clubs have yet to fully finalise their back room teams, just Bruree, Knockainey and Murroe-Boher are yet to confirm their managers.
The All-Blacks could have their man in place by the weekend while it appears that 2006 winners Bruree could be looking towards Waterford.
Both Na Piarsaigh (Sean Stack) and Effin (Peter Finn) were left with easy choices ahead of the new season with the duo still involved in the 2011 campaign with All-Ireland semi-finals in the coming weeks.
They are among a small number of clubs not to tinker with their managements.
Defeated finalists Ahane are to remain with former Limerick U-21 selector John Meskell as manager but James Moran has opted out and is yet to be replaced as coach.
South Liberties won the county cup last year and they are to remain with Sean Hehir, who is setting out on his fourth year with them after spending the two previous years with Claughaun.
He is one of six Clare men at the helm of Limerick clubs.
Stack, Hehir Considine, O’Loughlin and Lohan have all previous experience of the Limerick SHC, but Granagh-Ballingarry have opted for newcomer Brian Kennedy.
A clubmate of Sean Stack in Sixmilebrige, Kennedy played when the Clare side won the 2000 Munster club title. Now resident in west Limerick, he trained junior side Pallaskenry in the last two years and replaces Dave Moriarty in Gerry O’Donovan’s back room team in Granagh-Ballingarry.
Their neighbours Coom have looked to Galway’s 1991 All-Star full back Sean Treacy, who was with Eire Og in Nenagh last year.
It could be interesting if Hospital-Herbertstown and Garryspillane are again drawn together this year as former Hospital-Herbertstown player Anthony O’Brien is now in charge of The Bouncers.
With Declan O’Grady joining Brian Lohan in Patrickswell, Hospital-Herbertstown have appointed former Limerick senior selector Liam Garvey as their new man. Another side to remain local are Doon with Niall Maher remaining in charge.
The draws for the Limerick championship (which is to have a new sponsor for 2012) will be made at the second County Board meeting of the year on February 14. Before that the final team is to be selected when Emmets play Western Gaels in a straight final of the inter-divisional series - neither City Gaels or Geraldines are taking part this year.
Adare - Ger O’Loughlin
Ahane - John Meskell
Bruree - TBC
Croom - Sean Treacy
Doon - Niall Maher
Effin - Peter Finn
Garryspillane - Anthony O’Brien
Granagh-Ballingarry - Brian Kennedy
Hospital-Herberstown - Liam Garvey
Kilmallock - Tony Considine
Knockainey - TBC
Murroe-Boher - TBC
Na Piarsaigh - Sean Stack
Patrickswell - Brian Lohan
South Liberties - Sean Hehir