BY KIERAN McCARTHY
THE joint-manager approach worked wonders for Tyrone football last season – and Ilen Rovers will hope their decision to follow a similar route will reap rewards this year.
Former Cork footballer Diarmuid Duggan, an Ilen selector last season, will team up with 2021 boss Jason Whooley as Ilen’s new joint managers. Florrie O'Driscoll and Timmy McCarthy are selectors in this revamped management team and the hope is to add one more to the set-up.
Following their relegation from the Premier senior ranks last year, this is a big campaign for Ilen as they will be eager to return to winning ways at Senior A level and rebuild confidence and self-belief after a few tough years at the top tier.
Ahead of the 2022 county championship draws, Ilen are amongst the A seeds in the Senior A football championship, alongside 2021 defeated SAFC finalists St Michael’s and Béal Áthán Ghaorthaidh.
The latter, beaten 2021 semi-finalists, has kept in place the same management team as last season, spearheaded by manager Denis Reen, with Shane Ó Duinnin one of the selectors.
Dohenys are another club that is keeping faith with their 2021 management team as Declan O’Dwyer will remain in the hot seat for the campaign ahead.
The Dunmanway team was resurgent under O’Dwyer’s watch last year as they won three championship games on the trot and qualified for the county SAFC semi-finals where they were unlucky to be beaten by St Michael’s after extra time. There is one addition to O’Dwyer’s backroom team as Finny Collins comes on board to join Robbie Aherne, Daniel O’Donovan, Paul Deane and Noel O’Donovan. Alison Hayes is Dohenys’ strength and conditioning coach again.
There is no change to the Bandon football management team for 2022 as Colm Aherne remains in charge, joined again by Aidan McCarthy (coach), Jimmy Gabriel and Derek O’Driscoll (selectors) and Stuart Reid (strength and conditioning).
Bandon didn’t get past the group stages last season but will be eager to improve on that showing in 2022.
Another team disappointed with their 2021 campaign is O’Donovan Rossa and they have decided to go ahead with a fresh approach this year, as Gene O’Donovan has succeeded Martin Bohane as manager. Daniel Cronin, the St Mary’s clubman involved with the Cork minor footballers, is on board as coach, Aidan Hayes is a selector with Eoin Hodnett as strength and conditioning coach.
The seedings for the 2022 Cork Senior A FC is as follows: A: St Michael’s, Ilen Rovers, Béal Áth’an Ghaorthaidh; B: Dohenys, Knocknagree, Clyda Rovers; C/D: Bandon, Bishopstown, Fermoy, Kiskeam, Newmarket, O’Donovan Rossa. These 12 teams will be divided into three groups of four. Two teams will progress from each group to the play-off stages. This will result in six teams qualifying, with the two top group winners qualifying for the semi-finals and the remaining group winner and the three second-placed teams qualifying for the quarter-finals.