GAA Digest: A round up of football and hurling news from Ireland
Galway marches into hurling final, O'Connor quits, Cork's pride and GAA shorts
The former All-Ireland winner confirmed his departure just a week after the defeat to Donegal in the All-Ireland quarterfinals.
Mick O’Dwyer has already ruled himself out of the running for the job, with under-21 boss Eamonn Fitzmaurice, John Evans and Liam Kearns in the frame to succeed O’Connor.
A statement from Kerry GAA said, “Jack O’Connor has confirmed to the chairman of Kerry County Committee Patrick O’Sullivan that he has resigned as Kerry senior team manager.
“The chairman wishes on behalf of Kerry GAA to thank Jack, his selectors and backroom team for all their commitment and hard work over the past number of years.”
O’Connor told RTE Radio, “I felt myself it was the right time to go. I intimated that to the board and they told me take a few days. I met with the management team during the week and we decided then and there.
“The chairman Patrick O’Sullivan was a good guy to work with and said to take a few more days to be sure. I woke up this morning and felt it was the right decision.
“I’ve been with some of these guys for a long time. I’ve been with the likes of Tomas O Se back as far as 1998 at under-21 level. We’ve soldiered long and hard and won a good bit, and lost a bit, so I just feel it is the right time for a new voice in the dressing room.
“There was another year’s left on the management’s contract but you know in your gut when it is time to go and I felt I squeezed as much as I possibly could out of this particular team. A new voice coming in will get more out of them.
“I don’t think they are finished by any stretch of the imagination.
“I had to work very hard this year to get the boys form turned around and I felt we did that over the last month or so but we met a hungrier, stronger team than us last Sunday and sometimes you just have to face reality and that my time was up with this team.”
O’Connor added, “It’s been a tough year. There was a bit of hangover from losing the All-Ireland final. That was a very tough defeat, it was an All-Ireland we felt we could and should have won.
“There was a lot of baggage trying to deal with the fallout from that. I felt for a lot of this year I was finding it very, very hard to get the boys back where we needed them to be. We got a lot of satisfaction in the last four-to-six weeks when the boys turned that around and got back to where they needed to be. But it was year that took its toll.”
CORK boss Jimmy Barry Murphy has urged his players to learn from their All-Ireland disappointment.
The young Rebels lost out to Galway in Sunday’s All-Ireland semi-final as a promising season came to an end.
“The better team won on the day. We have no complaints,” said Barry Murphy afterwards.
“They picked off some great scores in the second half when we found it harder to get scores. They were the better team, no doubt about that.
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