O’Sullivan leaves Ballacolla as search for hurling boss starts

John O’Sullivan has left his his position as Clough-Ballacolla manager in the wake of their drawn quarter-final against Castletown-Slieve Bloom on Saturday.

John O’Sullivan has left his his position as Clough-Ballacolla manager in the wake of their drawn quarter-final against Castletown-Slieve Bloom on Saturday.

O’Sullivan’s departure added to the controversy surrounding the game, after an alleged incident between a Clough-Ballacolla player and a Castletown-Slieve Bloom mentor in the tunnel after the final whistle..

Clough-Ballacolla chairman Noel Shiel declined to comment on the reasons for his departure, but did thank the Castletown native for his work with the team. “There is no animosity. We would like to thank him very much for the where he brought us, there was no disagreement.”

O’Sullivan won the SHC title with Ballacolla last year, and had already won the Division 1 title less than a month ago. It’s not the first time Ballacolla have changed manager mid-season, with Barney Naughnane stepping aside in 2010 after just five games in charge.

John McEvoy has been appointed to replace O’Sullivan. McEvoy, originally from Ballacolla but living in Dublin, comes with an impressive record, having guided the Dublin U-21s to an All-Ireland final.

Meanwhile, Laois GAA chairman Brian Allen has refused to rule out the possibility of a Laois man succeeding from Teddy McCarthy, after he stepped down from his position as senior hurling manager last week.

Allen revealed the pressures of travelling up and down to get to training and club games was behind McCarthy’s decision, although he had found himself in an almost untenable position after players had called for a high-profile manager to be appointed.

The hunt for a replacement will now begin, and Allen refused to rule out a Laois man stepping into the hot seat. “We are going to look at all options to try to bring Laois back to where we should be.

“We need to instil some pride and passion back in the setup. We had two Laois people at minor and U-21 level, and we’re not ruling anything out.”

Allen also confirmed that a committee will be formed to look for a new manager, and that past and recently retired players will be consulted as part of the process.

John McEvoy may also come into the reckoning for the Laois senior hurling manager’s job, as may O’Sullivan, having expressed an interest in the job last year before Teddy McCarthy’s appointment. John Taylor, who the league with The Harps last year and has brought them to successive SHC semi-finals, has said he will concentrate on his job with the Durrow based side for now before considering whether to throw his hat in the ring.