Two Clare All-Ireland winners have taken on separate roles with hurling clubs in Offaly.
Wing back on the 2013 All-Ireland winning side, Brendan Bugler has been announced as the new manager of the Birr senior hurlers. The four-time All-Ireland SHC champions last won the Offaly SHC in 2008, their most recent county final appearance was in 2019.
Bugler was part of the Wexford senior hurling management team in 2020 and guided St Flannan’s College to their twenty second Dr Harty Cup title. The Whitegate native was the recipient of two All Star awards in 2012 and 2013, he called time on his Clare career in 2017.
Clarecastle’s Noel Considine is set to join Bugler’s management team as goalkeeping coach. Considine also departed Fitzgerald’s Wexford set-up but is set to stay on his role with the Sixmilebridge senior hurlers. Former Roscommon GAA head of athletic performance David Mannix has been announced by Birr as the side’s strength and conditioning coach.
He succeeds Barry Whelehan in the role with newly appointed Laois manager Seamus ‘Cheddar’ Plunkett previously tipped for the gig until Eddie Brennan’s sudden departure from the O’Moore County prompted Plunkett’s return.
Meanwhile two-time All-Ireland winner Ollie Baker has been announced as the new manager of the Belmont senior hurlers. Midfielder on the victorious Clare teams of 1995 and 1997, the St Josephs Doora/Barefield clubman has re-entered the world of management.
Baker was manager of the Offaly senior hurlers for two seasons with Shannon’s Alan Cunningham serving as a coach alongside him for the Faithful County. Prior to this, they worked together as part of Anthony Daly and Mike McNamara’s management teams with the Clare senior hurlers. Ollie was in charge of the Kilmacud Crokes leading them to glory in the 2014 Dublin SHC and is considered one of the most successful managers to take charge of the Stillorgan club.
Recent seasons have seen Belmont reach the semi-finals of the Offaly SHC such as the 2020 campaign when they were eliminated by Kilcormac/Killoughey. They have yet to win an Offaly senior championship.