David Herity, Kildare hurling manager
Kildare hurling manager, David Herity, announced his three-year vision for his tenureship last week where he placed unprecedented emphasis on structural development and player engagement outside of the inter-county scene.
Giving a detailed presentation on his actions within the three weeks since he was appointed to the role, Herity’s main concern was contacting last year’s panel players, while also seeking out players that couldn’t commit to previous manager, Joe Quaid’s panel.
Herity also confirmed that he’s still searching for a Kildare selector to join the management panel, and has, of last Monday, being unable to find a person willing to commit to the role.
Asking five people, two of whom Herity says they were close to securing, because of family commitments, those people were unable to offer their services.
Asking the people from the clubs attending the meeting, whether they’d like to make themselves available, or knew of anyone who could make themselves available, the room remained deathly silent.
There was, however, a consensus that Kildare needed a Kildare voice on the Kildare panel, though none was forthcoming in the room.
Recognising that it is a huge commitment to work with a county team, Herity said he also knows “how vital it is to have a Kildare voice” on the management panel.
Re-announcing the confirmation of Mickey McCullough, who is still coaching in Ballyboden St. Enda’s as they seek Leinster glory, and Ronan McWilliams, a former Ulster GAA coach from Armagh, as coaching staff, Herity said that “one of my pet goals, the one thing that I want to drive on this year, through (McCullough and McWilliams) is the coaching of development squads and club teams.”
Bringing McCullough and McWilliams into the Kildare management setup especially for their previous work in hurling’s developing counties, “so that we can work in trying to achieve more in the county as a whole.”
Offering coaching and training sessions to the clubs, or “whatever they feel they might need,” Herity also announced that he intends on splitting the county panel into different different groups so that they can link with various teams in the county throughout the year.
“Each group will link with their various underage teams throughout the year so that Kildare hurling has a conveyor belt coming through, that we have lads, who have played at the top level with Kildare, going back to help out,” said Herity.
Explaining that there’ already a gulf starting to appear in Kilkenny hurling, where hurlers are leaving the Senior panel and disappearing, Herity wants to make this a key aspect of his term.
He feels it’s important that the Kildare players link with the clubs and development squads so that any skills gap is closed and that younger players are able to interact with the Senior players.
In terms of the numbers Herity wants to draw into the squad, he explained that he is intending on working with a panel of thirty players to “limited the impact on the clubs, so that we’re not taking players out of the club scene.”
He also explained that he will, should Kildare get as far as a league final in March, release the players back to their clubs for April and the start of May for club league games.
“It’s important that the players play with their clubs, that they’re getting game time in; once they’re getting in three sessions per week, I’m happy,” he said.
Agreeing that he, along with the people in the clubs, will be judged on their results, Herity said: “I’m trying to make sure that we can work as best we can with the clubs, that the players are made available, especially in the month of April.”
Aware that the link between players, management, County Board and clubs must be strong if “there’s anyway of having any bit of success is if they work together,” he stated that he’s making himself available to the clubs in terms of coaching or information or guidance.
“If there’s anything that you want in a club, I’ll make myself available,” said Herity.
Explaining the relationships between the clubs and the county must be strong, Herity also asked that if he needed something from the clubs, that that would be reciprocated.
Hurling Committee Chairman, Colm Nolan, said that Herity “has done a huge amount of work since taking over the role, and did a huge amount of preparation before interviewing for the job.”
“David is trying to make sure that he creates that hurling culture in Kildare, and I think that’s one of the things that’s clear from what he’s told the clubs, that he wants to stitch together the club and county,” said Nolan.
Aside from the obvious targets of winning league promotion and the Christy Ring Championship, where promotion is automatic, Nolan says that “Herity’s three-year target is help and work with us to develop hurling across the county.”