There was surprising news in hurling circles this week with former Kilkenny forward Eoin Larkin being announced as the new coach of the Wicklow senior hurling side.
The 8-time All-Ireland winner was equally surprised to be contacted by Wicklow manager Eamonn Scallan. The former Wexford hurler was insistent on having someone of Larkin’s experience involved in his management team and the James Stephens clubman was happy to answer the call.
Speaking to KCLR’s Saturday Scoreline, Larkin said: “It came out of the blue. I didn’t expect to be involved with any intercounty set up this year, but I spoke with the manager Eamonn Scallan and I spoke to the Ballinkillen chairman and they were both happy for me to take the job with Wicklow and it has worked out well with the intercounty season coming before the club.”
Larkin feels that the opportunity to gain invaluable coaching experience with an intercounty team was too good an opportunity to turn down.
“It’s a chance to see exactly what is required as a coach.
“I couldn’t refuse the chance to get this experience and it will be great to work there and improve the players before I get stuck into Ballinkillen later in the year,” said Larkin.
As one of Kilkenny’s greatest forwards of all time, many would have expected Larkin to be brought in to improve the attacking play of the Wicklow side. While he did reveal that he will be hoping to pass on his extensive knowledge to the forward line, the Ballinkillen manager will be involved with the whole team irrespective of positions on the pitch.
“It’s just a coaching role for the whole team but I will be looking to implement certain things with the forwards around movement and score taking and I’ll just try to pass on my knowledge to the players.”
Larkin also admitted that he is not familiar with the players that he will be working with from next Tuesday onwards.
“I’m going into it totally cold. I don’t know a lot about the county team or the club scene in Wicklow but Eamonn has assured me that they’re a hardworking bunch of players and that’s all you can ask for as a coach of any team.”
Listen back to the full interview on Scoreline Extra: