LIMERICK senior hurling champions Na Piarsaigh have appointed former player Shane O’Neill as their new manager.
The Caherdavin men were left without a manager when long-serving Sean Stack stepped down after their All-Ireland club semi-final loss to Portumna.
The club have now confirmed that O’Neill is to lead their attempts for back-to-back Limerick SHC titles.
O’Neill is the first to have graduated from playing with the club’s underage team to managed their flagside hurling team.
As a player, O’Neill won county championships at junior, intermediate and senior with the Light Blues.
He has confirmed that 2011 championship winning captain Kieran Bermingham will be his selector.
Former Clare and Offaly senior hurling coach Alan Cunningham is to be involved in an advisory capacity to the new management.
The Shannon man is currently involved with the Clare minor hurlers after departing Offaly seniors last season with Ollie Baker.
Prior to his role in Offaly, Cunningham was Clare coach when Anthony Daly was Banner boss.
A former U-21 manager with Na Piarsaigh O’Neill’s competitive debut as senior manager will be this Tuesday night when the All County League commences.
Na Piarsaigh are away to Doon.
Na Piarsaigh’s title defence in the championship begins on the first weekend of May. Their first game in the new-look county championship will be against 2013 champions Kilmallock.
They will also play Granagh Ballingarry, Ballybrown, South Liberties and Effin.
Na Piarsaigh are the 15/8 favourites to once again lift the Daly Cup.
Rivals Kilmallock are 9/4 second favourites.
The south Limerick side are also under new management with former Clare manager Ger O’Loughlin replacing another former Clare manager Tony Considine.
O’Loughlin previously managed Adare to county championship wins of 2007, ‘08 and ‘09.
Adare are third favourites at 5/1. They are under the management of former Limerick minor manager Shane Fitzgibbon, with coach Ger Cunningham also on board.
Na Piarsaigh, Kilmallock and Adare have won the last seven championships between them.
The only other side that the bookies have listed in single digits are Patrickswell. The 18-times champions haven’t won the title since 2003, while roll or honour leaders Ahane are now without a win since 2004.