CIARAN CRONIN is the new manager of Cork hurling champions Imokilly.
A selector for the past number of years, the Lisgoold club man takes the reins from Fergal Condon who has guided the division to the last three championships but who is now a part of the new Cork U20 management under Pat Ryan.
However, Condon will remain on the backroom team and may yet act as a selector.
Jimmy Smiddy and Sean Harnedy are also extending their service to the East Cork division and their experience as selectors for the past number of years will be vital again.
Former Cork hurler Derek Barrett, however, has opted out after contributing significantly as team coach over the past number of years. He will be replaced by Aghada’s Alan Morrissey, who is likely to take up the coaching role.
Cronin is vastly experienced and featured at underage level for Cork.
East Cork Board Secretary Mike O’Brien told the Echo that it was very important to have continuity going forward and he paid tribute to all those who had been involved.
“Firstly, the players wanted continuity, personnel who have been involved in recent years. We have got that with Jimmy Smiddy and Sean Harnedy staying on as selectors and, of course, Ciaran Cronin taking over the manager’s role from Fergal Condon.
“All those people were key to our three-in-a-row success and we are delighted that Fergal will still be around.
“He has been a fantastic leader over the past five years and the players really thought the world of him.
“Obviously, we are sorry to see Derek Barrett go but he has work commitments which make it difficult.
“He made a huge contribution to the success of the last few years, another individual that the players thought very highly of.”
Imokilly will be bidding for the four-in-a-row next season but will be without the Fr O’Neill’s contingent and Cloyne’s Paudie O’Sullivan.
However, the return of Colm Spillane, Barry Lawton, Ciaran O’Brien from injury and the inclusion of a number of younger players like Joe Stack, Liam O’Shea and Shane Óg Regan will compensate for their loss and the division will be one of the leading fancies again.