Derry to appoint Laois native John McEvoy as senior hurling boss
DERRY hurling is set to turn both south and east as they endeavour to move in a more positive direction next year.
The Irish News understands that the Oak Leafers are set to confirm Laois native John McEvoy as their new senior hurling manager at the county committee meeting tomorrow night.
His selectors are expected to include Dubliner John McGuirk, who performed the same role with his native county in recent years, and former Antrim hurler Brian Delargy.
McEvoy himself has extensive experience with Dublin hurling, having managed their U21s to the Leinster title and the All-Ireland U21 Final in 2011. That same year he had been head coach as the Dubs won Division One of the National Hurling League, thrashing eventual All-Ireland Champions Kilkenny by 0-22 to 1-7 in the decider.
After three seasons as head coach with the Dublin senior hurlers, McEvoy has also managed Clough/Ballacolla to a final replay in his native Laois in 2012, then took St Brigid’s in Dublin, and last year coached Cushendall.
That explains the involvement of Cushendall clubman Delargy, who coached the Ruairi Og senior hurlers from 2014 to 2017, and has also been his club’s minor and U21 manager.
McGuirk managed the Dublin U21 hurlers in 2016 and 2017, as well as being a senior selector for those two seasons, having been Dublin minor manager for three seasons.
The new management team succeeds that of Lavey man Collie McGurk, who was hampered by the initial absence of Slaughtneil players due to their club involvement.
Derry lost all five matches in National Hurling League Division 2B this year but, when the Emmet’s men returned to county colours, they thrashed Armagh in the relegation/ promotion play-off and reached the Christy Ring Cup (third tier Championship) semi-finals, losing to eventual winners Kildare.
In 2019, Derry will be in Division 2B again, along with Donegal, Down, Kildare, Warwickshire, and Wicklow.
That will be good preparation for their Christy Ring Cup group, which also includes Donegal, Down, and Wicklow.