New Carbery Rangers boss admits club have work to do to contend again

Declan Hayes takes over as manager of the former county champions
New Carbery Rangers boss admits club have work to do to contend again

Carbery Rangers' new manager Declan Hayes has his shot blocked by St Finbarr's Ross O'Dwyer during the Senior Football Championship at Bandon. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

CARBERY RANGERS have appointed former player Declan Hayes as the manager of their senior football team for this season.

Declan, who enjoyed a very successful career with both his beloved Carbery Rangers and the Carbery divisional team, is delighted with the appointment.

“It is a big honour. I am proud and very privileged.

“We have put together a very strong management team. It will be a big challenge for us this season as we slipped back a bit last year.

“That is reflected in us being among the third seeds for this year’s club championship. We have a lot of work to do.”

The talented former player, served as a selector with the Carbery Rangers senior footballers last year. Declan who teaches in Hamilton High School, Bandon and has a young family admitted he had to weigh up everything before he could commit exclusively to his new role.

“I have a young family at home, but this is something I was always interested in. There is never a perfect time, but I feel there is a very exciting panel of players in the squad.

“They are committed and it is a good time to get involved. What made up my mind was the fact that I have assembled such a strong coaching team around me which will be a huge help.”

Carbery Rangers were drawn in a very tough championship group last season which featured four West Cork teams.

Carbery Rangers subsequently failed to quality for the knockout stages.

This has led to suggestions they are on a downward spiral, which their new manager quickly refutes.

“I suppose we are seen in a lot of quarters as being an ageing team. I would consider that we have a good age profile throughout our squad. We have players across every age bracket.

“We have lots of experienced players, but we also have plenty of lads who are starting out and have huge talent.

“We have very exciting players coming through from the minor grade, who have been winning games at the premier grade.

“These lads require good training which will see them develop into very good senior players going forward.

“One of the positives to take from last year was that a good few of our young players got good championship experience which will stand to them.”

Mike Power, Bishopstown, knocking down Declan Hayes of Carbery Rangers. Picture: Dan Linehan
Mike Power, Bishopstown, knocking down Declan Hayes of Carbery Rangers. Picture: Dan Linehan

Carbery Rangers ace forward John Hayes has been appointed as a selector with the Cork senior football team for this year.

Declan is delighted for John, who he insists will remain a key player for Carbery Rangers.

“He will definitely play on for us. The split season helps us in that regard. It suits both parties.

“He will be a great addition to the Cork management team. He will also learn a lot from his involvement.

Working with top coaches and players will benefit him hugely. He will bring that knowledge back to Carbery Rangers in some capacity in the future.”

He enjoyed a brilliant career with Carbery Rangers. He was a key figure in helping Carbery Rangers secure their senior status and help ensure they remain of the best teams in the county.

The talented forward was also a key player on the Carbery senior football team who won the Andy Scannell Cup in 2004. The evergreen attacker was still lining out at junior level for the Carbery Rangers team who reached last year’s divisional final.

“No, I won’t be playing on. I am 40 now and my best years are behind me. I played a little bit of junior last year, but I have too much on. My body is done and I have to accept that.

“When you stop training at a senior level, it is impossible to keep going as the fitness falls off rapidly.”

Declan has assembled a very strong management team who will assist him this season.

James Kingston, John Holly, Mark Ronan, Adam Doyle and Denis McSweeney make up a very strong backroom team.

“I am taking over from Haulie O’Sullivan who did such great work with the team in recent years. James Kingston has done great work with the underage teams.

“John Holly, who is a Kerry man, will also help out. He will be very good. I played with him for UCC.

“We have kept in touch. He is football mad. He has great coaching experience with both CIT and UCC.

“He is a hands-on coach. He will be a great asset.”

Declan was very fortunate he worked with so many successful coaches during his distinguished and lengthy career.

He will aim to impart the knowledge and coaching tips he assembled during his career on to the next generation of Carbery Rangers players.

“I played under some great managers and coaches. I learnt so much from every coach I played for.

“I learnt a lot from working under Micheal O’Sullivan and Ronan McCarthy in the latter years, while Michael Paul Hicks and John Murphy were huge figures in the club in our early success.

“I was also fortunate to have played under the late John Corcoran when I played for the Carbery senior footballers. He had such a strong personality and he galvanised that whole panel to win a county title."

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