THE appointment of Paudie Murray as Cork minor hurling manager appears to be imminent after the announcement of his decision to step down as Cork camogie boss after 10 years.
Murray informed the Cork Camogie Board of his decision on Monday night, bringing an end to a decade in which he guided the Rebels to the O’Duffy Cup on four occasions – 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018 – with the 2018 win part of a double as he was also in charge of the intermediate side which claimed All-Ireland glory. The Rebels were beaten senior finalists in 2012, 2016 and 2021.
Murray issued a statement outlining the joy he had in the role of camogie manager since taking over.
“Having the opportunity to work with, and learn from, a backroom team whose professionalism, expertise and knowledge was a huge honour and I will be forever indebted to them," he said.
"I wish to thank and pay tribute to an incredible bunch of players that I have had the honour to manage throughout my tenure. The joy, the tears, the sense of camaraderie and the memories shared will stay with me forever. "You have been a credit to yourselves and I thank your families and partners for inculcating in you a sense of decency, a humility and a work ethic that will stand the test of time. I wish you every success in the future.”
The camogie board thanked Murray "for his dedication and commitment to Cork camogie over the last ten years and wish him the best of luck in the next chapter.”
The statement continued: “There is no doubt that you are leaving Cork Camogie in a promising position and we will aim to build the foundations you have laid to bring glory to Cork in the years to come.”
Prior to taking the camogie role, Murray was manager of Dohenys, whom he captained to Carbery JAFC glory in 1995. He also played hurling for Cloughduv and St Finbarr’s.
His departure means that, as reported by last month, Murray’s appointment as minor manager for 2022 would appear to be a formality. It’s likely that it will be ratified by delegates at the November meeting of Cork County Board.
Noel Furlong, who led Cork to a first All-Ireland minor title in 20 years last August, had been in charge at U15 and U16 level prior to that and, similarly, Murray was the co-ordinator of the group that was U16 this year (divided into regions rather than competing as Cork) and will be minor next year.
Furlong was preceded as minor manager by Dónal Óg Cusack and Cork lost to Limerick in the Munster semi-final in December 2020 after a fragmented year. Prior to that, John Considine – manager of the 2001 All-Ireland-winning side – was in charge for two years.
Cork were unlucky to miss out on qualification from the Munster round-robin on each occasion, falling a point short in 2019 and suffering from an inferior scoring difference in 2018. In 2017, Denis Ring guided the minor side – the last at U18 level – to Munster glory, losing to Galway in the All-Ireland final.
Meanwhile, the search remains ongoing for a new U20 boss to replace Pat Ryan, who stepped down after steering Cork to All-Ireland glory in the 2020 and 2021 competitions. Donal O’Mahony, coach to those successful sides, is among the front-runners to take over, while Furlong’s name has also been mentioned as a potential candidate.
Elsewhere, with Keith Ricken having been confirmed as the new senior football manager yesterday, the county board appointments committee have at least ticked one major box. The St Vincent’s club man, who led Cork to the 2019 All-Ireland U20 title as well as winning the 2009 Sigerson Cup with CIT, will be joined by selectors Micheál Ó Cróinín (Naomh Abán), Ray Keane (MTU/St Finbarr’s), James Loughrey (St Brigid’s/Mallow), Barry Corkery (Éire Óg) and Des Cullinane (St Nicholas), with a coach to be announced in due course.