Dublin GAA chiefs are closing in on former Cork coach Ger Cunningham to replace Anthony Daly as the next manager of the capital’s hurlers.
Board officials have been sounding out the Cork goalkeeping legend for a number of weeks and, following preliminary discussions, have identified Cunningham as the man they want to carry on the progress made under Daly for the past six seasons.
Cunningham has been out of the inter-county scene since departing as Cork coach last year, and is understood to be keen on a return to front-line management for 2015. If Jimmy Barry-Murphy was not to continue as Cork coach next season, Cunningham would appear an obvious replacement, but that’s a scenario unlikely to come about.
Dublin chairman Andy Kettle last night revealed Daly’s recommended successor will be named by the end of this week and has already been identified by the selection committee.
Kettle refused to confirm whether the successful candidate hailed from in or outside the county. “That would be unfair to the unsuccessful candidates as they have yet to be told. That will happen at the same time because it is right to do it that way.”
The delay in announcing the appointment, Kettle said, is down to the would-be manager finalising his backroom team. The county executive will also have to be informed before his name is released.
It is known the players were consulted during the selection process and their soundings had been forwarded to the committee. While not necessarily against a native taking the position, they would lean more towards someone with senior inter-county experience either at management or in coaching. Names like Nicky English, Liam Sheedy and Mattie Kenny were also mentioned in dispatches.
Former Dublin minor and U21 manager Shay Boland had been one of the early favourites for the role with it being speculated this year’s Waterford selector, Tipp’s Willie Maher could join him on the one ticket. It is also understood Dublin Co Board want the new manager to agree to a three-year term.
Dónal Óg Cusack was spotted watching Dublin quarter-finals last week but in his Irish Examiner column ruled himself out.