Members of the Limerick Camogie panel have issued a statement today responding to the withdrawal of Declan Nash from the application process to manage the team in 2020.
Nash withdrew from the process yesterday citing lack of transparency and fundamental differences in player progression as key factors in his decision.
Speaking exclusively to Sporting Limerick today, the players issued a statement giving their unequivocal backing to their now former manager.
“Following the announcement this Monday (25 November 2019) by Declan Nash of his decision to withdraw his application from the application process for the position as Limerick Senior Camogie manager for the 2020 season, the players would like to express our huge regret, disappointment and frustration that has led Declan’s decision to withdraw.
“Declan has been a central figure in the development of this squad initially in his role as strength and conditioning coach under John Tuohy before succeeding John as manager in April 2018. Declan has facilitated our growth as players, as athletes and as people. Declan and his management team developed multiple aspects of us as athletes, while giving us the opportunity to express ourselves both on and off the field.
“During his time with the Limerick Senior Camogie squad, Declan has brought an unprecedented level of professionalism to this squad, while also surrounding himself in some of the best coaches and background teams possible. He set high standards of us and challenged us to reach new levels of performance which demonstrated his belief in us and our ability as individuals and as a squad.
“As a squad, we believe Declan and his management team have been treated unfairly and disrespectfully by Limerick County Camogie Board given the success, standards and structures he has put in place since assuming the role as manager in April 2018.
“Back on the 29th of August, the Limerick County Camogie Board informed senior players of its decision to create an independent review committee to evaluate all aspects of the county board structures including a review of all management teams.
“The review committee met Declan and his management team to evaluate their structures and their plans for the future. Declan and his management were highly praised for the standards and structures they had put in place for us and received the backing from the independent committee.
“Following the management team’s review, the squad met the Limerick County Camogie Board chairperson and secretary on the 17th of September where the squad present voted unanimously in favour of Declan’s return.
“On the 30th of September, we were then informed by the chairperson that the job was going to public tender. At the request of players, representatives of the Limerick Senior Camogie panel met with representatives of the County board on the 9th of October to discuss a range of concerns players had in relation to the selection process for the manager and why our vote was not deemed sufficient.
“Subsequently, the Limerick County Camogie Board, invited 2 players to speak to the club delegates to raise our concerns with them. That evening, Declan was told privately to obtain a level 1 coaching course which he dually completed.
“It is evident the powers that be within the Limerick County Camogie Board do not want Declan and his management team to return in 2020 for reasons that are unknown to us and have put every obstacle in place to ensure this. We believe there has been a clear lack of transparency and honesty throughout the entire management selection process.
“As a squad we will look back on 2019 as a huge success having achieved the targets both the squad and management team set out to achieve. Having qualified from our championship group for the first time in 15 years, we were looking forward to building on this success with Declan and his management team. We now face the prospect of yet another manager for the third successive season which we believe is not conducive to the overall success of Limerick Camogie.
“We would like to take this opportunity to whole-heartedly thank: Declan Nash, Darragh O’Grady, Síle Moynihan, Michelle Casey, Ciarán Carey, Darragh Mulcahy, John Blackwell, Liam Mulcahy and Noreen Barry for their unwavering support given to us. We are at a loss without each of you. With deep regret given the circumstances we now find ourselves having to prepare for the 2020 season without you all.”Limerick Camogie Squad Statement 26th November 2019
The statement demonstrates a clear rift between the board and the players around the appointment process and the reasons behind Nash’s decision to withdraw.
Considering the demonstrable progress made over the last two seasons, the current situation certainly throws a major spanner in the works for preparations for 2020.