Kevin Martin has stepped from his his role of Offaly senior hurling manager. The Offaly County board announced that Joachim Kelly will come in as interim boss until the end of the Joe McDonagh.
Martin came under fierce pressure following some poor results. The Faithful have had a very poor 2019. They were subsequently relegated to Division 2 for 2020. They are also at present in danger of dropping down to hurling third tier competition the Christy Ring Cup. They have lost both games to date in Joe McDonagh to Laois and most recently on Saturday were hammered by Westmeath. They have two games against Kerry and Antrim to rescue their season.
Martin a two time All-Ireland winner with Offaly in the 1990’s took over at the beginning of the 2018 season. His first game in charge they hammered Dublin in the league. However, the Faithful were relegated from Liam McCarthy competition last season after some poor performances. Offaly’s next game is against Antrim at Tullamore and its obviously a must win match as a loss would mean they would be staring down the barrel at relegation to the third tier as we previously outlined. The bottom team in the round Robin Joe McDonagh Cup group automatically drop down.
In a statement on Monday evening the Offaly County board confirmed the news that Martin had stepped down and that Joachim Kelly would come in as interim manager.
The statement read in full:
“Following on from an Offaly GAA Management Committee meeting tonight, Kevin Martin & his management team have been replaced as the current senior hurling management with immediate effect. The committee would like to thank Kevin and his team for their commitment and effort over the last two years.
“Survival in the Joe McDonagh Cup competition in 2019 is essential for the long-term development of hurling in the county.
“To this end Joachim Kelly has been appointed by the management committee as interim manager to the end of this year’s Joe McDonagh Cup competition. We wish Joachim and his team the best of luck in the upcoming games.”
It would be a real shame to see Offaly relegated even further as they have had good hurlers over the years. The players obviously aren’t there, something is not going right.