Paul Kinnerk, coach to Clare’s All-Ireland winning senior team and coach to the three-in-a-row Munster and All-Ireland winning U-21 teams is back in the Clare senior hurling management team.
In the past year, a number of county and club sides had sought to secure the services of the highly-rated coach and this announcement is a huge coup for boss Davy Fitzgerald and a massive boost to Clare hurling.
Kinnerk met with manager Fitzgerald and members of the backroom team in the past week. The St Caimin’s Shannon teacher is currently studying for a PhD on coaching practices in Gaelic games at the University of Limerick where, it is understood, he has managed to arrange some flexibility, which has led to his return to the Clare set-up as coach/selector, while continuing with his studies.
“I am delighted to welcome Paul back into our set-up, as his experience, expertise and knowledge of the existing panel of players will complement what is already a high quality backroom team,” said Davy Fitzgerald.
“I initially spoke with Paul during last summer and then several times throughout the winter about getting him involved with Clare for the 2016 season but, due to personal commitments, he was unable to consider the invitation until very recently,” he added.
“The existing coaching staff of Donal Óg Cusack (coach/selector), Aonghus O’Brien (coach) and Seoirse Bulfin (coach) have been part of this process and having met with Paul, they are delighted to welcome him into the coaching set-up,” he continued.
Last year he took on the role of managing the Limerick football development squad structure, a post he will continue to hold.
Fitzgerald confirmed that Kinnerk’s commitment to the underage football and hurling academies in Limerick will be unaffected and he will continue in his existing roles with both groups.
The Limerick man stepped down at the end of Clare’s 2014 campaign and, at the time, Fitzgerald announced that Kinnerk was taking a year out to travel but that he would return for this year’s campaign. Kinnerk’s return will be warmly welcomed by Clare supporters.