Offaly feel the pressure as commitment issues force dropoff

Independent Sports writer Michael Verney today reported that a number of Faithful hurlers are feeling the pressure under new manager Eamonn Kelly. Kelly who was put in charge of the Offaly hurling team late last year has a new focused approach to bring Offaly back to a competitive level at the top tier of the Senior hurling championship.

Birr club man Emmet Nolan is the latest to leave the inter-county set up as the 21 year old cannot give the commitment. Speaking to Verney Eamonn Kelly assured he had a plan and it’s all or nothing for the former Kerry manager. 

Emmet Nolan pushes Off Wexford tackling

Emmet Nolan in action in the u21 hurling championship against Wexford in O’Connor Park

“Emmet Nolan is not on the panel, he can’t give his commitment. We set down the markers of what we need and there’s some guys who can give it, and some who can’t,”

“There’s a few not here because they’re not committed to what we want to do and that’s fine. What we have we’re happy with and their attitude is good.”

Following a very comfortable wins over DIT, Cillian Kiely has not trained for the Faithful since that game which Kelly told Verney he had “no news” on that.

EirGrid Leinster Under 21 Hurling Championship Semi-Final, O'Connor Park, Tullamore, Co. Offaly 24/6/2015 Offaly vs Wexford Offaly's Cillian Kiely tackles Conor McDonald of Wexford Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

EirGrid Leinster Under 21 Hurling Championship Semi-Final, O’Connor Park, Tullamore, Co. Offaly 24/6/2015 Offaly vs Wexford Offaly’s Cillian Kiely tackles Conor McDonald of Wexford
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

The successful 2015 Christy Ring Manager also told The Independent how there is a lot of work to bring spirits back where they should be in the Offaly camp. 

“Their confidence is very low and we need to build on that. We need to get more games like this, we’ve Kilkenny next week and we need to try and slowly build, “We’ve a good backroom team with stats and video trying to show them and see where we’re going wrong and what we can work on and hopefully it will come together. We’re starting to get some of the things right. “Their ability is there but confidence needs to be built up. Is it good enough to go to the very top level? Time will tell but we can’t ask for anymore and it’s going in the right direction.”

The recent retirement Offaly hurling legend Brian Carroll  would also would have dropped confidence in the squad but the return of Seir Kieran’s Joe Bergin and Double K’s Dan Currams in the coming weeks will boost spirits for the remainder of the Walsh Cup and National League series. 

Kelly will now sights on the huge task of taking on All-Ireland Champions Kilkenny in St.Brendan’s Park Birr on Sunday afternoon at 2pm. 

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