Football manager Keith Ricken to take sabbatical from Cork job

Selector John Cleary steps in for the rest of the 2022 season as Ricken takes a break for personal reasons 
Football manager Keith Ricken to take sabbatical from Cork job

Cork manager Keith Ricken after his side's defeat in the McGrath Cup Final match between Kerry and Cork at Fitzgerald Stadium in Killarney, Kerry. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

THE Cork senior football manager Keith Ricken is to take a sabbatical for the rest of the 2022 inter-county campaign for personal reasons, with coach John Cleary filling his role on a temporary basis.

The Cork senior footballers are currently in a stand-off with the Munster Council over the venue for their provincial semi-final meeting with Kerry on May 7th.

The game was originally fixed for Páirc Uí Chaoimh but the Cork executive agreed to two Ed Sheeran concerts at the venue in late April, a decision taken prior to the release of the 2022 championship dates.

Mattie Taylor of Cork is congratulated by Cork selector John Cleary after their side's victory in the Allianz Football League Division 2 match between Offaly and Cork at Bord na Mona O'Connor Park in Tullamore, Offaly. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
Mattie Taylor of Cork is congratulated by Cork selector John Cleary after their side's victory in the Allianz Football League Division 2 match between Offaly and Cork at Bord na Mona O'Connor Park in Tullamore, Offaly. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

The Munster Council’s concerns about the capacity of Páirc Uí Rinn are at the root of the switch, but Cork County Board chairman Marc Sheehan has said that enabling work being carried out at the venue will ensure a crowd of 11,000 can be accommodated at the Munster semi-final.

The Cork County Board has formally requested that Páirc Uí Rinn be reinstated as the venue for the Cork-Kerry Munster SFC semi-final on Saturday, May 7, but as of now the game remains fixed for Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney. 

A meeting of Munster Council officials on Thursday evening is expected to discuss the matter further.

Ricken succeeded Ronan McCarthy as Cork manager last October and quickly secured the services of Cleary on his backroom team — the Castlehaven man had been linked with the manager’s job on several occasions.

Cleary, who won All-Irelands as a player with Cork in 1989 and ‘90, guided the under-21s to All-Ireland success in 2007 and ‘09, as well as a string of Munster titles. He also won four All-Irelands as manager of the Cork ladies footballers.

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