KIERAN Kingston is the firm favourite to return to the Cork senior hurling manager's job.
The Tracton native, currently involved with the Douglas team, was at the helm in 2016 and 2017 before he surprisingly stepped down and was replaced by John Meyler.
Meyler's two-year stint concluded this week and there's a groundswell of support from Cork hurling fans for the return of Kingston, who was also a selector and coach from 2012 to 2014 alongside Jimmy Barry-Murphy.
One complication is that Kieran's son Shane is a member of the squad, though that wasn't an issue in 2017 when the powerful forward had an outstanding debut season.
Former All-Star goalie Donal Óg Cusack also has plenty of backers as a more radical choice to take charge, while another ex-keeper Ger Cunningham would offer a wealth of experience. Ben O'Connor, Denis Ring and Pat Mulcahy have also been mentioned.
Cusack expressed an interest in being the new Cork hurling manager on RTÉ's GAA podcast.
"Would I be interested in managing Cork someday? Course I would," the three-time All-Ireland winner said.
"I played for Cork since I was U14 and every level since. But whether this is the right time, what's the process, what are Cork looking for?
"Is it one year, two year, three year? Does the manager bring in his own people?
"What role does that new high-performance director [have], and again...I think that the biggest decision that Cork have and the biggest appointment that is going to be made by Cork over the next while is that high-performance person."
Cusack also hailed Meyler's "fierce" Munster Championship title last year but added that "people would have felt that this year, and the results really showed that, that the team hadn't advanced."
The All-Star has previously served as a coach for the Clare hurlers for two years in 2015, helping that side win a National League in 2016.
Speaking about the vacant hurling manager position, Cork County Board chairperson Tracey Kennedy has said they are looking for someone with a “strong coaching background” to replace Meyler.
"Whenever the group sits down to look at filling this vacancy, there is no-one on or off the table," Kennedy said.
She added that a new manager is likely to get a two-year term, as Meyler had been given.
"I know from discussions with the county secretary and executive that two-year terms are probably what is being favoured going forward," said Kennedy.
"The three-year term was important for [Cork football boss] Ronan [McCarthy] because it was a rebuilding situation. I expect two-year terms will continue to be the norm."