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Dublin: 4 °C Monday 17 February, 2020

No decision made yet on Cork managerial vacancy amid speculation of Fitzgerald U-turn

The senior management team has not been discussed yet, Cork LGFA told The42.

Recently departed Cork ladies football manager Ephie Fitzgerald.
Recently departed Cork ladies football manager Ephie Fitzgerald.
Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

NO DECISION HAS been made yet on the Cork senior ladies football managerial vacancy.

Speculation is rife on Leeside that recently departed boss Ephie Fitzgerald is set to return to the helm after stepping down following the Rebels’ All-Ireland semi-final exit last month.

But Cork LGFA have confirmed to The42 this afternoon that no decision on the post has been made as of yet, with the entire focus on this weekend’s senior club championship final.

“The Cork minor and the Cork senior management teams have not been discussed yet,” a Cork LGFA spokesperson said, adding that the U14 and U16 management teams were finalised and ratified at last night’s county board meeting. 

“Our immediate concentration is directed at this weekend’s senior club championship final, Mourneabbey v West Cork in CIT on Saturday at 5pm.

“The inter-county management selection committee will meet soon to process the selection of both the minor and senior management teams.”

Nemo Rangers clubman Fitzgerald stepped down after four years in charge following Cork’s All-Ireland semi-final defeat to Dublin in August. 

“I think it is time for a new voice,” he told the media afterwards. “I said I would give it one more year. The result today was nothing to do with my decision to step down. That was made a while back.”

Fitzgerald succeeded Eamonn Ryan at the helm in January 2016, and steered Cork to their 11th All-Ireland title in 12 years in his first season in charge.

That September 2016 victory over Dublin resulted in an All-Ireland six-in-a-row, but the county have not reached the Holy Grail since. In 2017, Mayo dumped the Rebels out of the championship at the semi-final stage, and they fell short in last September’s final.

Fitzgerald also delivered back-to-back Lidl Ladies National League Division 1 crowns in 2016 and 2017, and another this May, while he steered the Leesiders to Munster crowns in 2016, 2018 and 2019.

In recent weeks, All-Ireland winning Tipperary and Mourneabbey boss Shane Ronayne and hugely successful Cork minor manager John Cleary haven’t ruled out the prospect of filling the vacancy.

“It’s something that I was interested in before, but I genuinely haven’t given it a second’s thought,” Ronayne told The42, while Cleary took the same tone with The Southern Star.

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Emma Duffy

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