To the Faithful departed … Kilkenny legend Michael Fennelly is Offaly’s new manager
MICHAEL Fennelly is the latest graduate of Brian Cody’s All-Ireland winning academy to go into hurling management.
The Ballyhale Shamrocks man has followed the examples of clubmate Henry Shefflin and inter-county colleagues DJ Carey and Eddie Brennan after it was confirmed last night that he is set to become Offaly’s new manager.
The eight-time All-Ireland winner has been recommended by the county’s management committee and is expected to be confirmed by a vote on Tuesday, September 3.
The Faithful County will compete in the Christy Ring Cup next season after relegation from the Joe McDonagh Cup in June.
The 34-year-old takes over from caretaker boss Joachim Kelly, who had replaced Kevin Martin midway through their ill-fated campaign last year.
The three-time All Star and ex-army man becomes the second recent Kilkenny legend to move into management in the midlands following Eddie Brennan, who masterminded Laois’s stunning win over Dublin in this year’s championship.
The 2011 Hurler of the Year will take over on a two-year deal with an option of a third year in charge, according to reports.
A statement on the Offaly GAA website read: “The aim of this appointment is to bring pride and stability back to the Offaly jersey with the support of Michael and his backroom team.
“Michael brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and competence in all aspects of the modern-day team preparation.
“This is a challenging task and to be successful it will need the support of the players, their families, the clubs and all the people involved in Offaly GAA.
“Michael is looking forward to the upcoming Offaly club championship and will use these games as the platform to choose his panel for 2020.”