O’Loughlin returns to Adare job

GER O’Loughlin is to return as manager of the Adare senior hurlers.

GER O’Loughlin is to return as manager of the Adare senior hurlers.

The Clare man led Adare to a hat-trick of county titles from 2007-2009. Then in December 2009 he was appointed Clare senior hurling manager and led the Bannermen for two years until stepping down at the end of this year’s championship.

After dominating the Limerick club scene throughout the last decade with five titles, Adare have failed to make the semi-finals for the last two years.

They worked with a local management team in 2010 and this season were led by former Na Piarsaigh goalkeeper John Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald departs Adare to take up his new position as Limerick U-21 hurling manager in place of Leo O’Connor.

‘The Sparrow’ will return to an Adare side that now has Declan Hannon, John Fitzgibbon, Willie Griffin coming of age, but as usual there will be much interest in the plans of club stalwart Mark Foley.

The return of O’Loughlin already brings the number of high profile Limerick club managers from Clare to four with O’Loughlin, Tony Considine (Kilmallock), Brian Lohan (Patrickswell) and Sean Stack (Na Piarsaigh) already in place.

Certainly the Clare option appears to work for Limerick sides with seven of the last nine county champions under the guidance of a Clare native with Stack, Considine, O’Loughlin and Jim Fawl all claiming Daly Cup successes.

Bruree won with John Touhy in 2006 and Ahane, in 2004, were the last club to win the Limerick crown with a management set-up from within the club.

Ahead of the turn of the year the majority of the annual leading contenders for Limerick SHC honours have already moved to cement their backroom teams for 2012 as all chase high-flying Na Piarsaigh.

The champions will be led into the new year by Sean Stack but paramount for the Caherdavin men is an All-Ireland semi-final against Antrim’s Loughgiel Shamrocks in mid-February.

2012 will be Stack’s fourth year with the Limerick city side.

Meanwhile down south, Tony Considine is readying for his third year at the helm of The Balbec.

Brian Lohan is back for a second year with Patrickswell but he is promoted from coach to manager with Gary Kirby stepping down.

Croom, meanwhile, have appointed former All-Ireland club winner Sean Treacy. He coached his native Portumna club to St Patricks Day success in 2006 and then served as a selector under Ger Loughnane with the Galway seniors in 2007.

While management roles are a constant source of interest at this time of year, the next big topic of conversation will be potential transfers - with a number of rumours already abound as to potential ins-and-outs from some of the leading senior clubs around Limerick.