OFFALY GAA HAVE announced that hurling boss Kevin Martin and his management team have been replaced with immediate effect after back-to-back opening defeats in the Joe McDonagh Cup.

After suffering relegation from the Liam MacCarthy Cup last year and from Division 1 in the Allianz League in 2019, the Faithful are in danger of dropping again — this time to the hurling championship’s third tier — after defeats to Laois and Westmeath.

Another two-time All-Ireland winning Offaly player replaces Martin, with Joachim Kelly coming in on an interim basis.

Kelly formerly guided the county’s camogie side to All-Ireland success and led Coolderry to the Leinster SHC semi-final last year.

Offaly GAA confirmed the changes this evening:

“Following on from an Offaly GAA Management Committee meeting tonight, Kevin Martin & his Management Team have been replaced as the current Senior Hurling Management with immediate effect,” a statement reads.

“The committee would like to thank Kevin and his team for their commitment and effort over the last 2 years.

“Survival in the Joe McDonagh Cup competition in 2019 is essential for the long term development of hurling in the county.

“To this end Joachim Kelly has been appointed by the management committee as interim manager to the end of this year’s Joe McDonagh Cup competition. We wish Joachim and his team the best of luck in the upcoming games.”

Source: Offaly GAA Twitter.

There were 13 points in the difference as Westmeath beat Offaly on Saturday and from there, Martin really came under fire. 

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Kelly now takes the reins and with two games to save their McDonagh Cup status and avoid another major setback, they welcome Antrim to Tullamore on Saturday in a must-win fixture.

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