Offaly manager Joachim Kelly labels Twitter trolls 'arseholes' and 'gobshites' in radio interview
Interim Offaly hurling manager Joachim Kelly was in no mood to suffer fools as he gave a heartfelt and at times feisty radio interview to RTE's Martin Kiely this afternoon.
The former Coolderry boss was speaking in the wake of Offaly 1-18 to 1-16 defeat to Kerry in the Joe McDonagh Cup, a result that sees the team consigned to the third tier of the Offaly hurling championship for the first time.
Offaly were relegated after losing all of their games in the Joe McDonagh with Kelly overseeing the last two against Antrim and Kerry having been brought in to replace the sacked Kevin Martin.
The All-Ireland winner came in for criticism this week from another former player and All-Ireland winner, Daithi Regan, who blasted the entire management team for its alleged poor treatment of a number of players.
Kelly brought in a number of new faces to the panel and the starting 15 ahead of today's game with Kerry but he was quick to dismiss social media criticism from a number of sources this afternoon. He did not make reference to individual critics.
Speaking to Kiely, he said: "There are arseholes on social media talking about us; they are gobshites who know nothing about hurling."
He said: "Everybody gets it; the management, the county board, the players, but if they [social media critics] only knew the work these lads have put in over the last couple of years, they wouldn't be so quick to criticise."
While he was evidently heartbroken at the result, Joachim Kelly contextualised the defeat by saying, "No one died, the sun will rise again in the morning, and please God Offaly will rise again sometime soon."
He referenced the new facilities in the shape of the Faithful fields as positives for the county and suggested that perhaps "we need to get back into schools and growing the grassroots" as he lamented the lack of hurling beyond the south of the county."
He said hurling was primarily played within a 10-15 miles radius of Birr. "Offaly is a split county between hurling and football, I don't care what anyone says. There's no hurling in Edenderry, very little in Clara and Tullamore is a Senior B team," he said.
He would not be drawn on whether or not he would be remaining on as manager as Offaly look to rebuild but instead quipped, "I'm not saying yes and I'm not saying no."
"I still love hurling, I still love Offaly and will continue to do so. I'm 63 years of age now and perhaps it's a younger man's game," he commented.
Offaly will play in Division 1B of the Allianz Hurling League and the Christy Ring Cup in 2020.