On Saturday, the news broke that Kieran Kingston would not return as Cork senior hurling manager. The Tracton man oversaw a remarkable rise in the Rebels’ fortunes in 2017, as they won the most unlikely of Munster titles. With a provincial title at minor and an All-Ireland at U-17, the future is bright for Cork hurling.
However, Kingston has elected not to stay on, citing work commitments as his reason for stepping aside.
Speaking to the Irish Examiner, he spoke of the commitments associated with intercounty management.
“I am not taking up the option of a further term as Cork senior hurling manager as, for the foreseeable future, I’m unable to combine my work and family commitments with the sheer amount of time needed for inter-county management at the top level.
“I’m self-employed and I travel with my work, which thankfully is very busy at the moment. This impacts on the time available for intercounty duties.
“As many inter-county managers have pointed out recently, only those involved at this level are aware of the sheer level of time commitment involved. To be honest, you need to walk a mile in a manager’s shoes to get some idea of the job.
“It’s a professional commitment in all but name, and it amounts to a second full-time job for any manager who has ambitions not just to participate, but to succeed at the highest level.”
This just goes to show how much of an undertaking it truly is to manage an intercounty team, and the expectations placed on managers.
However, it is clear that Kingston has left Cork hurling in a healthy place for his successor. The introduction of the likes of Mark Coleman, Darragh Fitzgibbon and Luke Meade this year added an edge to the side which saw them travel to Thurles three times this summer to come away with three wins and a Munster title.
The Rebels will have a new man in charge next season, as they look to push on in 2018.
Make sure to check out the latest episode of The 16th Man, where we review the ladies football final, discuss Kieran Kingston’s departure from Cork, and hear from Jackie Tyrrell.