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Friday, 20 August 2010 07:21

Mickey Ned O'Sullivan steps down as Limerick manager

By Brian McDonnell © Johnston Press Digital Publishing

Limerick football was left reeling this evening when Mickey Ned O'Sullivan informed the Football Board that he was stepping down at senior football manager.
Although O'Sullivan's term in charge had come to an end when the Shannonsiders suffered a defeat at the hands of Cork in an All-Ireland qualifier on July 24 the Football Board had been hopeful of tempting the Kenmare man back for at least one more year.
The popular Kerry man felt however that after five years at the helm of the Shannonsiders he had taken Limerick as far as he could and that now was the time for someone else to try their luck.
Mickey Ned O'Sullivan, who captained Kerry to an All-Ireland title in 1975, was appointed manager of the Limerick senior footballers prior to the 2006 championship.
While Limerick won the National Football League Division Four title this year the efforts of Mickey Ned's men in the championship proved ultimately frustrating.
In five seasons Mickey Ned O'Sullivan guided Limerick into championship action on 16 different occasions. While the Shannonsiders only managed to win seven of those championship encounters Limerick proved extremely difficult to beat and narrowly missed out on winning a first Munster title since 1896 last July only to lose narrowly to Kerry in Killarney. Another undoubted highlight of O'Sullivan's five-year term in charge was Limerick's sensational 4-12 to 4-3 win over Meath in the 2008 All-Ireland qualifiers.
CLICK FOR ORIGINAL ARTICLE © Johnston Digital Press Publishing

Friday, 20 August 2010 07:14

Time for ‘new voice’ as Mickey Ned exits top Limerick job

Friday, August 20, 2010

MICKEY Ned O’Sullivan last night insisted that he had no regrets as he brought the curtain down on his five-year tenure as Limerick senior football boss and believed the time was right for ‘a new voice’ to come in at the helm of the county.

O’Sullivan informed Limerick county board officials yesterday evening that he and his coaching sidekick Donie Buckley were set to end their spell in charge, and then contacted Limerick players individually by phone to inform them of his decision. Limerick failed to land a coveted Munster senior football crown during O’Sullivan’s spell in charge, being defeated in the last two deciders by Cork and Kerry, but O’Sullivan still described working with the current Limerick squad, ‘as the most positive experience’ he has had in Gaelic football. 

"After five years the time is right for a new voice. Myself and the management have been considering this for the past few weeks. I was on holidays and we met yesterday after I came back, before informing the county board. I then spoke to the players individually on the phone, and the few that I didn’t get through to, I will be talking to them today. They were disappointed to hear that we were moving on, as were the board officials. 

"It was a joint decision made by myself and the rest of the management team. It was with great reluctance that we made the decision, as there was massive pressure from the board and players wanting us to stay on. But you can overstay your welcome and we felt we had reached the natural end. We’ve done everything we could to help Limerick football and we feel there’s a new voice needed now. 

Sunday, 25 July 2010 19:46

Stuttering Cork stumble into last eight

By John O'Brien © Sunday Independent


IN the end, almost in spite of itself, it turned into an extraordinary encounter. We came to Limerick seeking to analyse Cork's All-Ireland credentials and, on so many levels, they fell short.

They failed to rouse themselves for most of normal time and then, when they raised a gallop and forged clear of their opponents, they took their foot off the pedal and allowed Limerick to force extra-time.
It wasn't the Leinster final of a couple of weeks ago, but it was a pulsating drama in its own right. Cork had eased into injury-time four points clear and seemingly cruising only for Alan O'Connor to concede a needless penalty for a foul on John Galvin -- converted by the excellent Ger Collins -- but you still fancied they'd hold on. But, inexcusably, they failed to claim possession from Alan Quirke's kick-out and Limerick sub Conor Fitzgerald was on hand to kick the equalising score.
Extra-time was tense and all about survival. Limerick, understandably, returned with a bit of pep in their step. But chances became hard to convert. Daniel Goulding missed a relatively easy free. Collins had a desperate wide at the other end. Donncha O'Connor finally eased Cork in front at the end of the first period. They weren't striding clear now, though. Limerick remained hot on their tails.
The finish was of epic proportions. Cork pulling two clear. Brian Scanlon converting a wondrous 45-metre free from the sideline. Paddy Kelly replying with a peach for Cork. Players falling from cramp like there was a sniper in the stands. Ian Ryan clawing the gap back to one. Fintan Goold scoring a free for Cork and, finally, Cork keeping their composure to hold out by two points, happy and relieved to escape with their lives.

Friday, 20 August 2010 07:10

Mickey Ned steps down in Limerick

By Cliona Foley ©

LIMERICK senior football boss Mickey Ned O'Sullivan announced last night that he will not be looking for another term in charge.

O'Sullivan, who has been charge of the Shannonsiders for five seasons, indicated that he and his management team of about 11 people have collectively decided to step down, which leaves Limerick now looking for new managers for both their senior footballers and hurlers.

Limerick lost out narrowly to Cork in last year's Munster final and suffered a two-point loss to them, after extra-time, in the final round of this year's qualifiers.

O'Sullivan said that the outgoing management felt they had brought the team as far as they could and that it was "time for fresh voices". He also said that he felt none of his management team had plans to return to management elsewhere for a couple of seasons.

There has been speculation that his right-hand man in Limerick -- fellow Kerry native Donie Buckley -- could be a likely replacement for Kerry selector Eamonn Fitzmaurice, who stepped down this week, but O'Sullivan's comments last night seemed to indicate otherwise.


Meanwhile, O'Sullivan and Wexford manager Jason Ryan have both stressed their belief that Cork will substantially raise their game for Sunday's All-Ireland SFC semi-final against Dublin.

The Rebels may not yet have shown the sort of ruthless efficiency expected of All-Ireland champions elect, but two managers who have suffered at their hands this summer expect Dublin to bring out the best in them.

"Since those two games against Kerry, Cork went into every game as favourites. It wasn't even a case of 50-50, they were always heavily fancied to win, and that presents a real challenge in itself," Ryan said.

"Yet, no matter how close we got to them at any stage -- and we were happy enough up to half-time -- they would pull away again. And against Roscommon the last day, I don't think they ever looked like losing."

O'Sullivan concurred, saying: "I think they've played like they expected to win. If the players decide that they're really under pressure and play accordingly, I think there's a lot more in them."

Both men feel that the dip this weekend in Cork's overriding 'favourites' status will actually be of benefit to them. And for Ryan, there are two primary areas that Dublin will have to target.

"Their half-back line is so athletic, even if it doesn't include Graham Canty," the Waterford native said. "Every one of their half-backs is an excellent ball carrier and it's that ability to build from the back and run at you that's a huge threat. Also, their full-forward line is really dangerous if they get enough space.

"Donncha O'Connor is back to full fitness since we played them, which gives them further strength. Their full-forward line is dynamite if you allow them to play."

One man who has seen a lot of Cork's forwards at close hand, and has been surprised by the criticism they've shipped recently, is Cork Institute of Technology's GAA officer, Keith Ricken.

Ricken managed CIT to win their historic first Sigerson Cup (third-level championship) in 2009 with a team that included Ray Carey (full-back), Paul O'Flynn (midfield) and Paul Kerrigan (centre-forward), along with Daniel Goulding and Colm O'Neill in the full-forward line.

"The likes of Daniel and Colm, their scoring records with us, whether at Freshers or in the Sigerson, have been phenomenal and they always present a serious scoring threat," Ricken said.

"Obviously, at senior inter-county level, you're facing defenders of the same high calibre, but players like themselves and Paul Kerrigan are forwards of outstanding ability and I'd have great faith in them.

"There's been some criticism of Cork this summer, but people seem to forget they won the National League and the only side who beat them this summer -- very narrowly in a replay -- is Kerry.

"They're back in their sixth successive All-Ireland semi-final and to get there they had to score plenty, so I'd have no worries on that front."


Friday, 23 July 2010 09:29

“If we are good enough we will win” - Mickey Ned

Written by Donn O'Sullivan

CORK footballers stand between Limerick and the last eight of the All Ireland series. For the fifth time in five years the near neighbours will meet in the championship, this time, in the qualifiers.
In a repeat of last year’s Munster football final, Cork and Limerick face off in the last round of qualifiers. Cork won by the slimmest of margins last year so this Saturday night at 7pm, Limerick followers can expect another hard fought encounter.
The game itself was set up by virtue of a toss of a coin. Limerick and Cork agreed that they would toss for a home venue should they meet in the qualifiers. A risky choice you might think, but Limerick manager Mickey Ned O Sullivan believes that sometime Limerick’s luck had to come in. “If we had lost the toss, it would have been the eight straight time that Limerick followers would have had to travel to see their players in championship action. Our luck had to change. In fairness, we spoke to the players and they wanted the chance the play at home in front of a large Limerick crowd. We decided that we would go for a home game instead of settling for a neutral venue”.
The game itself against Limerick’s nearest neighbours is seen as the most difficult draw for Limerick of the teams that are left. “You have to beat every one if you want to win. If we are good enough we will win it, on Saturday”, added Mickey Ned. “Cork are expected to win the All Ireland by everyone this year. They are one of the top two in the country. We know all about them and they know all about us. We know where we are now after playing them last year and playing Kerry this year. We are up there with them and we know we are as good as any one” continued the Kerry native.

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