New High Performance Manager Aidan O'Connell provides a link to Cork's last senior All-Ireland victory

New High Performance Manager Aidan O'Connell provides a link to Cork's last senior All-Ireland victory
Aidan O'Connell working with Eoin Cadogan and Noel O'Leary ahead of the 2010 All-Ireland. Picture: Larry Cummins

CORK have appointed Aidan O'Connell as the new High Performance Manager to oversee the county's GAA teams.

O'Connell was involved with the Cork footballers from 2008 to 2012 in the Conor Counihan era when they lifted Sam Maguire and has a strong rugby background, particularly with Munster. He will now work with the CEO, Kevin O'Donovan and the Cork hurling and football management teams to develop and strengthen strategies relating to player development.

This announcement follows an appointment process overseen by O'Donovan, along with Cian O'Neill, CIT and ex-Kildare manager, Brian Cuthbert, Kieran Kingston and Doug Howlett, the rugby icon who last season worked with the Cork hurlers.

Aidan O'Connell on duty with Munster. Picture: INPHO/Dan Sheridan
Aidan O'Connell on duty with Munster. Picture: INPHO/Dan Sheridan

The county board have a number of major hurling appointments to make in the coming weeks, with the minor, U20 and senior jobs vacant. Kingston remains the favourite to return at the helm of the seniors, while Jamie Wall is being linked with the minor role.

Many of the Cork hurling faithful, particularly after last weekend's dispiriting U20 All-Ireland final hammering at the hands of Tipp, would love to see members of the mid-noughties Cork side like Tom Kenny, Ronan Curran, Ben O'Connor and Donal Óg Cusack on board when the new management teams are assembled.

O'Connell brings 17 years’ experience, successfully leading, managing and coaching various aspects of high-performance delivery with Munster, Leinster and Irish Rugby including strength and conditioning, sports science, return to play, nutrition and lifestyle to elite team sports at youth, amateur, professional and international level.

Aidan O'Connell with his wife Maria and son Barry from Carrigaline at the 2013 All-Ireland hurling final. Picture: Brian Lougheed
Aidan O'Connell with his wife Maria and son Barry from Carrigaline at the 2013 All-Ireland hurling final. Picture: Brian Lougheed

The Ballyclough man has a Bachelor of Science in Sports and Exercise Science (BSc) from the University of Limerick and a Master of Science in Coaching Studies (MSc) from the University of Edinburgh.

Welcoming the appointment, County chairperson Tracey Kennedy said "I am absolutely delighted that someone of the calibre and experience of Aidan O'Connell is joining the Cork GAA team. 

"The position of High Performance Manager will be a vital one in ensuring that we maximise the achievement of our inter-county teams in an increasingly demanding and competitive environment, and Aidan brings a wealth of practical experience to this role, along with a strong GAA background. 

"He has come through a rigorous interview process, and we are very lucky to have secured his services. On behalf of Cork County Board, I would like to warmly welcome Aidan to the team and wish him every success in this new role."

The position of High Performance Manager is part-funded by Cáirde Chorcaí.

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