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Monday 16 December 2019

Fennelly's basic plan for Offaly

Michael Fennelly
Michael Fennelly

The personnel in his Offaly squad will only take shape in the coming months, but new Faithful hurling boss Michael Fennelly knows exactly what he wants and insists that "sacrifices will have to be made" by his charges if they are to survive.

Offaly have slipped off the hurling radar with successive relegations seeing them ply their trade in the Christy Ring Cup for 2020 and Fennelly will make high demands of players as they look to bounce back.

"I have high standards and I'll be demanding that from my management team and I'll be demanding it from the players. It goes back to accountability and responsibility," Fennelly said.

"If you don't have that and commitment levels, well then inter-county might not be for you and that's the bones of it. Sacrifices have to be made, you have to be selfish in it too. You have to put it first and then there is a balance in terms of family and kids.

"So I'll be sitting down with the lads and going through what our goals are for the year basically from November time."

Stepping into inter-county management at just 34, Fennelly knows he will make mistakes, but he is intent on changing the culture around in the Faithful set-up.

"We need to get back to basics and fundamentals. Get back to a bit of belief. I'm a big believer in culture and laying foundations," the Ballyhale Shamrocks clubman said.

"Goals will come on top of that as well and that's where we need to go. If you don't have all that, you can bring in whoever you want and there will be cracks all over the place so that's where I'll be going first.

"That will take time, it's not a few weeks or months, it's a good year or two to build that. It's not a flick of the switch, it's going to be a lot of work."

Fennelly will take one lesson from his former boss, Brian Cody. "Brian is very articulate. When he talks, he talks. He wouldn't hold a meeting for no reason. Nothing would be dragged out and I like that. Players want to come to training and they want to go home as well."

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