Having guided his team to this year’s All-Ireland quarter-final, and suffering a one-point loss to Cork in the process on Sunday, Kilkenny manager Brian Dowling has today announced he is stepping away from his role as as senior team manager.
The O’Loughlin Gaels clubman started his intercounty hurling career with Kilkenny in 2002 and won two All-Ireland titles, two National League titles and one Leinster titles. He first stepped into inter-county management in 2019 as a coach for then Kilkenny manager Ann Downey, the Cats also losing out to Cork in that year’s All-Ireland decider by a single point.
Dowling was appointed to the top job in 2020 and put together a backroom team of former hurlers that included Tommy Shefflin, Pat O’Neill, Philly Larkin, and along with Ray Challoner, Breda Holmes and Angela Downey they would contest no fewer than three All-Ireland finals in three years, claiming the O’Duffy Cup in 2020 (against Galway) and 2022 (against Cork).
During his time as manager he has also won a VERY Camogie League Division 1 title in 2021 and four Leinster senior titles, the latest coming this year with defeat of Dublin in UPMC Nowlan Park.
He was awarded the top manager’s gong in 2020 and 2022 from the Camogie Association, named PWC Manager of the Year in both years.
In a statement on the official Kilkenny Camogie Instagram account it reads
“Brian Dowling this afternoon has informed the County Board that he has stepped down as Kilkenny Senior Camogie Manager
The O Loughlin Gaels native has informed the players of his decision. He was with the Senior team for the past five years and at this time has felt it’s the right time to step away.
The former Kilkenny hurler was brought into the setup back in 2019 as a coach with Ann Downey. The team got to the All-Ireland that day losing out to Cork in the Final.
He was appointed as Senior manager in 2020 and has guided Kilkenny to two All-Ireland titles in 2020 and also in 2022. He has also picked up two manager of the year awards for the same years”.
Kilkenny Camogie Chairperson said “Brian Dowling and his entire backroom team have informed us that they are stepping away from the Senior Camogie team.
Kilkenny Camogie would like to sincerely thank Brian and his entire backroom team for their commitment, dedication and work and most of all the professionalism that he has brought over the past five years.
He is a two-time All-Ireland winning manager having won the titles with the panel in 2020 during the very trying Covid-19 period and again in 2022.
The time that he has put into the panel has been second to none and he has always put the players welfare to the fore in his tenure. He has guided this panel of players to heights that many could dream of and he will be sorely missed.
We wish Brian the very best in his future endeavours and we thank him wholeheartedly for what he has done for Kilkenny Camogie”
Kilkenny Camogie will now establish an appointments committee to source a new manager next season.