Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 30 September 2014

Joe Kernan: I couldn’t turn down chance to manage Ulster side

When I stepped down as Armagh team boss some time ago, I did not quite expect to be returning to the management sphere so quuickly.

But when the opportunity came up to take charge of the Ulster team for the inter-provincial championship, I must say I found it particularly difficult to say ‘no’.

The prospect of working with the best players in the province appeals to me enormously and I have already started in my new role.

Obviously the fact that Tyrone are in the All Ireland final further underlines the rich seam of talent there is in the province and as we are the holders of the Railway Cup, I will be doing everything in my power to ensure that the trophy remains here.

I was honoured to play for Ulster for eight or nine years in the competition winning three medals under Brian McEniff and Sean O’Neill and I am very aware that many players are very keen on the competition, contrary to what some people may believe.

It is worth noting that my own county of Armagh has contributed two of Ulster’s more recent captains in Steven McDonnell and Paul McGrane and they both took great pride in their roles.

Brian McEniff has spent the past 24 years in charge and this shows his total commitment. Ulster wil face Munster on October 25 and if we manage to win that, we would play in the final under the Croke Park lights on Saturday November 1.

I don’t think too many players would object to being involved if it were to come about.

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