THE traditional city ‘big three’ of Blackrock, Glen Rovers and St Finbarr’s are among a number of premier senior sides who will have new management teams for 2022.
Fergal Ryan’s departure from the Rockies after six years in charge comes in the wake of Ian Lynam stepping down at the Glen and Ronan Curran opting not to stay on with the Barrs.
Ryan was appointed at the beginning of 2016 and guided Blackrock to the county SHC final a year later, losing to Imokilly. In 2020, he was on the sideline as the club ended an 18-year wait to add a 33th county title, beating the Glen in the final after extra time.
Wayne Sherlock, a former club and county team-mate of Ryan’s, was a selector under him in the early part of his tenure. Having stepped back from the Cork U20 set-up after helping the county to two All-Ireland wins, he could be a possibility as the club seek a successor.
Another late 1990s/early 2000s Cork player who might be taking up the reins at his native club is Seánie McGrath, as the Glen search for a replacement for Lynam, who stepped down after spending a decade as either coach or manager. McGrath has previously served as a selector for Cork minor and senior teams.
Ronan Curran was in charge of the Barrs in 2018 and 2019, taking them to the semi-finals in the latter year. After a year with Kanturk – whom he also guided to a semi-final, at senior A – the legendary centre-back returned to the Togher side this year but they finished third in a group that featured Blackrock, Erin’s Own and Charleville. He has stepped down and they are also on the lookout for a new boss.
The Barrs hurling club AGM takes place on January 10 and Ger Cunningham, who recently departed the Cork senior set-up, is among the favourites to take up the role which he previously held in the mid-2000s.
Na Piarsaigh are seeking a new manager following Colin O’Sullivan’s departure, as are Bishopstown, who had Robin Murray as boss in 2021.
Mark O’Callaghan remains in charge of Douglas hurlers, as does Mark Foley in Charleville, while East Cork sides Sarsfields (Barry Myers) and Erin’s Own (Martin Bowen) are unlikely to see any managerial change, either.
However, the Imokilly divisional side are another team on a quest for a new bainisteoir. Ciarán Cronin, who was in goal as Lisgoold won the 2020 county junior A and 2021 lower intermediate titles, has opted to step aside after two years, having served as a selector under Fergal Condon prior to that as they won three championships in a row.