Offaly’s new football boss Liam Kearns has finalized his management team as he works to form a board for 2023. Tullamore’s John Rouse and Gracefield’s Martin Murphy have been confirmed as Kerryman’s selectors.
Rouse led Tullamore to Offaly SFC in 2013 and has also enjoyed notable success at Knockbeg Academy and St Joseph’s Rochfortbridge, where he now teaches, leading both schools to the Leinster Academy Championship and the former in 2005 Won the All-Ireland Championship. He was briefly part of Offaly’s management team in 2018 when his brother Paul acted as interim manager.
Murphy is currently in charge of Portarlington, who have just completed a back-to-back three-peat with Laois and are considered real contenders for the Leinster title this year, having previously won Laois SFC with Stradbally.
Alan Flynn, who led Galway to the All-Ireland Under-21 Championship in 2013, will be coach, having worked with Claire and Kildare in recent years, while Keith Carr will be the strength and conditioning coach. Carr has played for a number of inter-county teams including Galway and Roscommon footballers and the Clare Hurlers.
Former Tipperary goalkeeper Paul Fitzgerald has been appointed goalkeeping coach.
In terms of players, Kearns has already taken a hit as goalkeeper Paddy Dunican will not be available in 2023, with the Shamrocks traveling to Australia this week.
Jordan Hayes, a Defense Force member, will start his service which will keep him out of the league, while several members of last year’s All-Ireland Under-20 squad are battling injuries, although Peter Cunningham will be in the He will return for the upcoming season after completing his official tour earlier this year.
However, as Neil McNamee and captain Johnny Moloney ponder their futures, Kearns may have to plan without two of Offaly’s most experienced players.
McNamee, 37, is currently gearing up for a campaign at Rozleinster club and is due to marry at Christmas, while Galway’s Moloney, 32, may struggle to renew his contract for another season.
“Father Time is going to get Neil in the end and there’s nothing we can do about it, but we’ll let him make his own decision,” Kearns told Offaly Live.
“I would love to have Johnny but he has family responsibilities and lives in Galway. It’s a serious decision for him and he’s been thinking about it for a year or two.