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Three-time All-Ireland-winning boss steps down as Corofin manager

Kevin O’Brien is one of the most successful club managers in the history of the GAA.

Kevin O'Brien after helping Corofin to All-Ireland success.
Kevin O'Brien after helping Corofin to All-Ireland success.
Image: Gary Carr/INPHO

ONE OF THE most successful club managers in the history of the GAA has stepped down with Kevin O’Brien calling time on his term in charge of Corofin following their Galway county final defeat.

O’Brien served as a selector with Stephen Rochford for several seasons before taking charge of his native club in 2016 and continuing the success of the Mayo man who had guided them to their third Galway title in a row.

O’Brien then extended Corofin’s run to seven Galway titles in a row, winning the Connacht crown in each of those four seasons and led them to become the first side to win three All-Ireland club titles in succession.

Their quest for eight in a row in Galway was ended at the semi-final stage by Mountbellew-Moylough last year but they remained All-Ireland club title holders as last year’s event did not take place due to Covid.

O’Brien, having enhanced his management team with the retired former Galway and Corofin captain Kieran Fitzgerald, led them back to the county final again but they were defeated by 1-12 to 0-9 by Mountbellew-Moylough in that decider on Sunday and he has now decided to step down.

“We have had some great days and I was delighted with the opportunity the club gave me. Teams evolve all the time. We saw that with Mountbellew-Moylough, they were close in recent years and filled the gaps and I have no doubt Corofin will do that as well in the coming years,” said O’Brien.

He leaves with a remarkable record, winning 51 of 56 championship games — they were unbeaten for 49 in a row last year until they went down to Mountbellew-Moylough — drawing two and suffering just three defeats in six years.

Two of those losses were to Mountbellew-Moylough and the only other set-back in a remarkable run was an All-Ireland semi-final loss to Dr Crokes of Kerry in 2017.

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John Fallon

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