Kidney retains managerial award


While Ireland’s rugby team were forced to wait 61 years to claim another Grand Slam, manager Declan Kidney took just 12 months to pick up yet another Philips sports manager of the year award, his third since 2006, but first as coach of the national side.

With Giovanni Trapattoni failing to steer the Republic of Ireland to the World Cup finals, Kidney’s main competition for the award came from 2003 winner Brian Cody and Sea the Stars trainer John Oxx.

Even their stellar achievements over the past 12 months – Cody securing the elusive four-in-a-row for Kilkenny and Oxx guiding Sea the Stars to an unprecedented run of six Group One victories – couldn’t eclipse Ireland’s Grand Slam success.

Kidney won the award last year and in 2006 and 2008 after guiding Munster to European Heineken Cup wins.

Kidney, who was named the IRB coach of the year last month, picked up his award at a ceremony in central Dublin this afternoon and was naturally delighted to receive the honour, while being typically humble afterwards.

“I would see it as a reflection of the team. We’d 50 odd players involved with the Churchill, the Six Nations and the November series and in the management team there are 18 people so I’m just lucky to be sent out to collect the trophies,” he said.

Kidney is the third Ireland rugby coach to win the award after Mick Doyle in 1985 and Eddie O’Sullivan in 2004.

Few, however, would bet on him winning it for a fourth time as he seeks to defend the Six Nations title and repeat the Grand Slam, and also prepare his side for the 2011 World Cup.

In the regard, Kidney is happy with the way the new faces have adapted to the international set-up.

“Yeah, because of the Churchill Cup we knew what good young players we had out there. When the opportunities came their way the players were in good order to take them.

“I think that’s the importance of having a good age structure and a good provincial structure so the players can fit in seamlessly enough when their opportunities arrive.”

Monthly Winners

December 2008– John Brudair (Dromcollogher-Broadford GAA)

January– Mark Scannell (Cork women’s basketball)

February– Declan Kidney (Ireland - Rugby)

March– Declan Kidney (Ireland - Rugby)

April– Phil Simmons (Ireland - Cricket)

May– Michael Cheika (Leinster - Rugby)

June– John Oxx (Horse Racing)

July– Mick O’Dwyer (Wicklow - GAA)

August– Conor Counihan (Cork - GAA)

September– Jack O’Connor (Kerry - GAA), Brian Cody (Kilkenny - GAA)

October– Pat Fenlon (Bohemians)

November– Giovanni Trapattoni (Republic of Ireland - Soccer)

Previous Winners

1982Pat Henderson (Kilkenny)

1983Brendan Edwards (Irish men’s amateur golf)

1984Mick O'Dwyer (Kerry)

1985Mick Doyle (Ireland)

1986Jim McLaughlin (Shamrock Rovers)

1987Jack Charlton (Republic of Ireland)

1988Jack Charlton (Republic of Ireland)

1989Jack Charlton (Republic of Ireland)

1990Billy Morgan and Fr Michael O’Brien (Cork football and hurling)

1991Pete McGrath (Down)

1992Brian McEniff (Donegal)

1993Jack Charlton (Republic of Ireland)

1994Eddie Jordan (Jordan GP)

1995Ger Loughnane (Clare)

1996Liam Griffin (Wexford)

1997Brian Kerr (Republic of Ireland under-20)

1998Brian Kerr (Republic of Ireland under-16 & 18)

1999Sean Boylan (Meath)

2000John Oxx (Racing)

2001Mick McCarthy (Republic of Ireland)

2002Joe Kernan (Armagh)

2003Brian Cody (Kilkenny)

2004Eddie O'Sullivan (Ireland)

2005Mickey Harte (Tyrone)

2006Declan Kidney (Munster)

2007Paul Doolin (Drogheda United)

2008Declan Kidney (Munster)

2009Declan Kidney (Ireland)