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Dublin: 10 °C Friday 3 April, 2020

Leading contender for Cork senior football job is chasing All-Ireland glory on Monday

John Cleary is coach to the Cork ladies minor football team.

John Cleary is coach of the Cork ladies minor football team.
John Cleary is coach of the Cork ladies minor football team.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

JOHN CLEARY IS viewed by many as the leading contender to succeed Brian Cuthbert as Cork senior football team manager.

But the Castlehaven stalwart is also involved with the Cork minor ladies football team chasing All-Ireland glory on Monday.

In a repeat of last year’s minor A decider, the young Rebelettes are hoping to stop Galway’s quest for a third successive crown.

Galway won a thrilling final by 3-21 to 4-13 in Birr last year and the scene is set for a repeat meeting at Semple Stadium on Bank Holiday Monday.

Cleary is working as coach to the Cork girls alongside manager Theresa Meaney from Mourneabbey.

And he’s the older brother of Nollaig, the former Cork ladies footballer who retired earlier this year with nine All-Ireland senior medals and three Allstar awards.

Nollaig Cleary with Mairead Tennyson John Cleary's sister Nollaig won nine All-Ireland senior medals with Cork. Source: Tommy Grealy/INPHO

Cleary is no stranger to All-Ireland glory himself, having featured on the Cork teams that won Sam Maguire in 1989 and 1990.

He was interested in succeeding Conor Counihan as Cork senior football boss in 2013 but Cuthbert got the job himself.

But Cleary is now primed to succeed Cuthbert in the Leeside hot-seat, having worked with many of the current senior players at U21 level in 2007, when Cork won the All-Ireland title.

He went on to manage the U21 team to All-Ireland glory in 2009 and after playing a key role as a consultant to Counihan during his tenure, Cleary was involved with his home club Castlehaven when they won the county senior football title in 2013.

Meanwhile, Cork have two massive ladies football clashes to look forward to on Monday.

Eamonn Ryan’s seniors take on Meath in the TG4 All-Ireland qualifier at Semple Stadium at 3pm, with the minor final scheduled to throw in at 4.45pm in Thurles.

Where does Limerick hurling stand after last night’s Munster U21 success?

Here’s the Kildare team aiming to shock Kerry at Croke Park on Sunday

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