Cork GAA Statement – Keith Ricken steps down with John Cleary taking over full time

Cork GAA wishes to announce that Cork Senior Football manager Keith Ricken has stepped down from his role due to health reasons. Keith was appointed to the position last October and steered the team during a difficult period with typical energy and enthusiasm. While illness forced him to temporarily depart the role in April, he continued to have a steadying influence, as the team preserved Division 2 League status and put in a number of creditable championship performances in 2022.
Cork GAA Chairman, Marc Sheehan said, “The county owes Keith a considerable debt for his selfless contribution, despite his off-field challenges. Given his record in MTU and at club level, we have no doubt that he will continue to make a sizeable contribution to Gaelic Games in the county. His reputation as a leader of young men will be further enhanced from his time here.”
Cork GAA CEO, Kevin O’Donovan said, “It is a testament to Keith’s integrity that in the two most recent management roles in Cork, namely U20 from early 2019 and Senior from late 2021, he turned difficult situations around thanks to his sheer force of nature. His ability to build great teams both on and off the field leaves Cork football in a good place, considering the challenges now faced in restoring it to its rightful place. We thank Caroline, Ava and Max for their selfless contribution also.”
At the monthly County Committee meeting for August on Tuesday, 2nd, the County Executive will propose John Cleary of Castlehaven for ratification as Cork Senior Football manager on a three-year term. Selectors will be named in due course.
John has been a serial winner at both club and county level, winning two Senior Counties with Castlehaven as both player (1989, 1994) and selector (2012, 2013). At inter-county level, he won All Ireland Minor (1981), U21 (1984) and Senior (1989, 1990) medals as a player. Having previously served as an U21 selector (2004-2007), winning an All Ireland as coach in 2007 along with Munster titles in each of the four years, he served as Cork U21 manager from 2008 to 2013 winning four further Munster titles (2009, 2011, 2012, 2013) and one All Ireland (2009).
Cork GAA Chairman, Marc Sheehan said, “John ‘s pedigree speaks for itself and we are grateful that he is stepping up from the role of coach and interim manager in 2022 to take the manager’s bib on a full-time basis for the next three years. We are certain that he has all the right credentials to lead and further develop the green shoots of recent months.”
Cork GAA CEO, Kevin O’Donovan said, “John’s graduation to the Senior manager’s role is long overdue and we are glad that his incredible contribution to football in the county is duly recognised. His experience will be vital in developing the successful underage teams of recent years into established competitors at elite level.”