THE executive of the Offaly Camogie County Board is pleased to announce Albert Kelly of St. Rynagh's as their selection for the post of Offaly senior camogie manager. The appointment is due to be ratified at the October county board meeting on 10th October. Kelly will be proposed for a two-year basis with an optional third should he wish to take it. Kelly was awarded the position having faced off some stiff competitors for the position.
Albert has had recent success with St. Rynagh's camogie team in the past two years. He took over as manager of St. Rynagh's in 2017 where he guided a potentially good team into a great team that continues to dominate camogie at senior level in the county. Kelly with his fellow selectors Roy Mannion and Nigel White led St. Rynagh's to their first ever Offaly senior title in 2017 and followed this with back-to-back titles in 2018.
St. Rynagh's continued their Leinster campaign to defeat Naas on a score line of 1-20 to 0-5 in the quarter-final and Myshall (former All-Ireland junior champions) on a score line of 0-14 to 0-9. In the Leinster Intermediate final tie, St. Rynaghs defeated Young Irelands of Kilkenny to secure Offaly’s and St. Rynagh's first ever Leinster club title at Intermediate grade. St. Rynagh's were eventually knocked out of the competition by Gailltír of Waterford in the All-Ireland semi-final on a score line of 3-8 to 0-12.
News of Kelly’s appointment is receiving a very warm welcome in Offaly as they bid to improve their status. In 2018 under the guidance of Kilkenny natives Mike Wall, Richie Power and Ger Walsh, Offaly failed to reach the knockout stages of the championship along with also reaching the first ever Littlewoods Ireland National league relegation play-off. In 2019, a lot of players stepped away from the team which saw Offaly once again in the Littlewoods Ireland National league relegation play-off and almost in a championship relegation tie, having defeated Wexford in the final round of the championship.
This is a challenging task for Kelly and his backroom team and to be successful it will need the support of the players, their families, the clubs and all the people involved in Offaly Camogie and indeed in Offaly GAA.
Albert’s backroom team will comprise of former Offaly hurler Roy Mannion, All Ireland winner Michelle Davis and two-time all-star winner and All Ireland Camogie and Poc Fáda winner Susan Earner.
The County Board wish Albert and his backroom team all the best as they embark on this new venture in their managerial careers. The Offaly county board are confident in the knowledge that some of the best Camogie players in the country are playing in Offaly clubs and with Albert at the helm guiding them to their full potential, they are looking forward to a very bright 2020 for the senior camogie team who will be competing in Division 1 National League, Senior Leinster Championship and the Senior All Ireland Championship.