FRANK Flannery, a man with huge experience in club and inter-county hurling has returned to take charge of his hometown club: Carrigtwohill.
In 2021, he guided Kanturk to win the championship that he is now striving to capture with Carrigtwhoill. He was central to Oulart-the-Ballagh's two Wexford senior titles and a Leinster title, after several provincial final reversals. Ardmore (2013) and Ballysaggart (2019) were crowned Waterford intermediate champions with him at the helm.
In 2018, the Carrig man also coached Russell Rovers to their first East Cork JAHC crown, the same year as he oversaw their county B grade football winning campaign. His connection with the big ball was also very evident as part of the Duhallow management team that reached back-to-back county football finals in 2018 and '19.
Add in a county with Ardfert in Kerry in 2013, a football county as part of the Glanworth management team in '09, and guiding sister club Harbour Rovers to the county junior hurling final, he has achieved consistent success. Oh and then there was the camogie. Cork coach in the 2009 All-Ireland win, the Milford seniors conquered Ireland on the double under his tutelage.
Still only 40, he has been involved with Cork at minor and senior, helped Cork to Christy Ring Cup and All-Ireland U21 B glory, and he was part of the Waterford senior set-up in 2014.
Quite a bit of mileage on the Garmin watch but that will change in 2023, he's now resident in Ballintotis, just a few miles east along the N25 from Carrigtwohill.
He cites John Meyler and Keith Ricken as his main inspirations when he first took up coaching at the tender age of 21. "I've always enjoyed it, but having finished playing at 28, I now realise nothing beats being on the pitch."
"Now I am just delighted to be back living in East Cork and given the opportunity to work with a lot of players who I have previously coached underage. We have a young group who have been very competitive this season in the top tier of the league but the reality is the club has won just a single championship game in the past three years.
As a third seed, they can expect a tough draw, so the main aim will be to get out of the group. Niall Kidney, Michael Boland and Clive Cremin, who is also the junior football manager, will also be on the sideline.
"The experience has been massive but some jobs have not gone so well. I think in recent years, my approach might have changed a bit. I was very driven before but now, I think you have to be more open-minded. You have got to bring the players with you all the way. It's a balance because it is a very long season."