By Seán O’Regan
The Dublin Senior Hurlers are in search of a new manager after Ger Cummingham stepped down from the role on Saturday afternoon. Former Dublin boss Humphrey Kelleher believes no top manager will be interested in the role.
Speaking to 98FM’s Now That’s What I Call Sport, Kelleher says:
“No top manager or manager who has been in the game for a couple of years will want to take on the job at the moment simply because they don’t see that there will be immediate success.”
“A lot of these guys take on the jobs once they know that they can deliver a title or some success. We need someone who has the longer term interest of Dublin at heart.”
Cunningham was in charge of the Boys in Blue for three years and his final game in charge was a 6-26 to 1-19 hammering at the hands of Tipperary in Thurles. For Kelleher, the resignation was no surprise.
“Well there was no great surprise really, it has been on the cards since the championship has been over, since Dublin’s exit and I suppose today was just rubber stamping something that most people were expecting for the last couple of weeks.”
“It hasn’t worked for him. It hasn’t worked for Dublin and there was no other option that the parting of ways would happen.”
The Cork-natives reign of the Dublin team was tarnished by internal differences that saw a number of high profile hurlers leave or found themselves dropped from the panel.
Michael Carton, Danny Sutcliffe, Mark and Paul Schutte, Johnny McCaffrey and Peter Kelly were a number of players, as well as a handful more, who left the panel during the Cunningham regime and Kelleher realises that new panels of players will find it tough at the top.
“There was a brand new young team coming in, and I know from experience, the same thing happened to me a good number of years ago, when you bring in young players, it’s very difficult in Division 1A of the league and at the top end of the championship when those players just don’t have the experience, don’t have the physicality, don’t have the strength, don’t have the pace to deal with the top teams.”
For Kelleher, there is a big difference between being a good coach and a good manager.
“Ger would have come to Dublin with the reputation of being a very good coach. A good coach has certain skills but I think they’re far from being a good manager.”
“A good manager to me would have the skills of managing people in the right way.”
Looking ahead to the future, Kelleher, originally from Waterford, thinks that an internal manager would be a better choice than an outsider but creating a Jim Gavin-esque environment is key.
“I would hope that the new management would create an environment where the best players will want to play for Dublin and I think that’s the key . I can see it with Jim Gavin that all the players want to play for the type of set-up he has put into Dublin football. Can we replicate that? We don’t have to go far to know how to do it right.”