Beleaguered Offaly hurling received a major boost on Tuesday night with news that Kilkenny legend Michael Fennelly is set to become their new manager.
Fennelly is an eight-time All-Ireland winner with Kilkenny, a three-time All-Star and was Hurler of the Year in 2011. The Ballyhale man will be appointed on a two-year deal with the option of a third.
In a statement from the Offaly county board, it was said:
Offaly GAA are pleased to announce that the Management Committee are recommending the appointment of Michael Fennelly as the Offaly Senior Hurling Manager for a 2 year term with an option for a third year.
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 confident of what he has learnt in his later years as a player and has always conveyed a passionate interest in the dynamics of the manager’s role. This is shown through his commitment off the field by studying for a doctorate in leadership sport. Michael is looking forward to the upcoming Offaly club championship and will use these games as the platform to choose his panel for 2020.
Michael is due to ratify his backroom team in the coming weeks. This is a very important time for Offaly hurling and we want to wish Michael all the best over the coming year with his backroom team and new panel of players.
Offaly were this year relegated to the Christy Ring Cup after finishing bottom of the Joe McDonagh Cup group.
Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE