CLARE’S All-Ireland hurling winning coach Paul Kinnerk has been unveiled as Limerick’s new football coaching co-ordinator.
A former Limerick senior football, the Monaleen man commences immediately as work starts on the newly reorganised underage football academy.
Last month Kinnerk, who coached Clare to the 2013 All-Ireland SHC title and a hat-trick of U-21 All-Irelands, took a break from Davy Fitzgerald’s Clare set-up.
Joining Kinnerk will be Strength and Conditioning coach Darragh Droog.As well as the new implementation group this duo will lead the coaching of the inter-county sides from U-14 to U-17 level.
Former Limerick football captain Muiris Gavin is chairman of the new underage football implementation group. He is joined by football board officers John Cregan, Colette O’Grady, Gerry Philips and Limerick GAA secretary Mike O’Riordan. Former Limerick senior football coach Donie Buckley has also played a role in setting up the new academy.
The new management teams for the underage county sides will be confirmed in the coming week but already Gavin has confirmed that some current and former Limerick senior footballers will be involved - Stephen Lavin, Pa Ranahan, Conor Fitzgerald and Eoin Joy.
The appointment of Paul Kinnerk and Darragh Droog was ratified at this Tuesday’s County Board meeting.
“We think this is real positive news for Limerick football. We looked at the model that is used by the system hurling and that has brought about two Munster minor titles and an All Ireland minor final appearance so we have followed that model,” explained Football Implementation Group chairman Muiris Gavin.
“All underage county football teams will now be based every Saturday morning in LIT, where will be have the use of two playing pitches, their indoor hall, gym etc,” outlined Gavin.
“We have to start out again and put the proper coaching plan in place. We are putting to coaches in place and will also look to coach the coaches. This is the model that all top counties are using and hopefully all clubs and players will now support it,” said Gavin.
“Everybody has to come on board because it is important that all parts of the jigsaw is together.”
Gavin spoke of the importance of getting Paul Kinnerk to lead the revival.
“Paul will over see everything. He is basically designing the coaching plan. He is taking a break from Clare and we are delighted to have someone with his experience to come on board,” said Gavin, who is a club-mate of Kinnerk’s in Monaleen.
Limerick Football Board chairman John Cregan also welcomed the addition of Kinnerk.
“We are delighted to have Paul on board as a coaching co-ordinator. This is good news and a positive move for Limerick football,” Cregan told the October County Board meeting.
“We need a buy-in from everyone in clubs to ensure that we get the best raw material in for trials and training,” outlined Cregan.
The new academy structure commences this Saturday morning with the U-15, U-16 and U-17 panels. They are working from the 2014 panels at present with new faces to be added in the coming weeks. The U-14 panel will commence in the near future.