AS speculation continues regarding Kieran Kingston’s future as Cork hurling boss, star player Alan Cadogan believes that it is vital that he makes the decision to stay on.
Cadogan told the Echo that all the players are hoping he commits to the cause for next season.
“Absolutely, we have made tremendous progress under Kieran," explained the All-Star nominated attacker. "The first year he was finding his feet a bit but this year to win a very difficult Munster championship and reach an All-Ireland semi-final was an illustration of how far we have gone under him.
“If we were offered that at the start of the year we’d have grabbed it with both hands. So, I think it’s very important now to have a continuation of that and we the players need that kind of continuity.
“All the players as a group want him on board again next season and we are all ready to go again.’’
The Douglas club man believes that the younger players that Kingston and his management team introduced this year will be even better next season.
“Yes, they will be a year older and a year wiser too and if we find one or two more players I believe we can challenge strongly again and make more progress.
“I know there’s huge commitment involved for an inter-county manager these days but for the development of this squad we all just hope Kieran stays with us.
"That’s the viewpoint of everybody, I believe, the County Board and the wider Cork public.’’
Meanwhile, one of Kingston’s selectors, Pat Hartnett today informed the management and the Cork County Board that he would be stepping down after completing his two-year stint.
The former Cork defender was a hugely valued member of the management team and today Kingston paid him a glowing tribute.
“It goes without saying that everybody is very sorry to see Pat go," Kieran Kingston said. "However, I can fully understand his decision, he’s has a very successful dental practice and that is very time-consuming.
“He did a fantastic job in his role for us and the players hugely admired and responded to his input.
“He was a fantastic hurler in his own day and he brought that experience with him. Also, he provided a great bridge between the players who were minors when he was with them and who graduated up this season, lads like Shane Kingston, Darragh Fitzgibbon and Mark Coleman.
“All I can say now is a huge thank you for the support he gave to me personally and everybody else involved.’’
On Kingston’s own future, the Evening Echo understands that he will meet again with the County Board later in the week for further talks and a firm decision is expected by the weekend.