Cuala’s senior hurlers will be looking to Mattie Kenny and his experience as a player and with the Galway hurling team over the last three years

CUALA’S senior hurlers will draw on the experience of the highly-decorated Mattie Kenny following his appointment as head coach for the 2014 season.

The Galway native enjoyed a distinguished playing and coaching career with his club Tynagh-Abbey-Duniry and also represented Galway at minor, Under-21 and senior levels and featured on the All-Ireland Under-21 winning team of 1983.

Since his playing days, Kenny has become a highly-regarded hurling coach and has served alongside Anthony Cunningham with Galway’s senior hurlers from 2011 to 2013, having been handed the reins after guiding the county’s Under-21s to All-Ireland glory in 2011.

Kenny previously coached Galway’s 2005 All-Ireland Under-21 winning team.

In 2012, Kenny and Cunningham brought Galway a first Leinster senior hurling championship success and took the Tribesmen to the brink of a first Liam McCarthy Cup success in 24 years, losing to Kilkenny after a replay.

In 2013, Kenny and Kilkenny’s Martin Fogarty guided the victorious Leinster team to success in the Super 11’s Celtic challenge played at Notre Dame University.

He takes over the reins from Harry Roberts who managed the side to their first Dublin senior hurling championship final since 1994 in 2012. They fell in that year’s decider to Kilmacud Crokes having knocked out five in-a-row winners Ballyboden St Enda’s earlier in the campaign.

Last term, though, the side missed out on progression from the group stages in cruel fashion, missing out on the quarter-final berths on points difference after all four teams in the group ended on three points.

But Kenny will have an upwardly mobile panel to work with in the coming year with eight players called in to Anthony Daly’s pre-Christmas training panel.

Four of them – David Treacy, Paul Schutte, Mark Schutte and Oisin Gough – were part of Daly’s panel that won the Walsh Cup, Leinster championship and National League division 1B titles in 2013.

They have been joined in the set-up by Cian O’Callaghan, Colm Cronin, Barry Connolly and Simon Timlin showing the development of the club in promoting hurling in the local area

Speaking about Kenny’s appointment, Cuala chairman Declan Murray said: “Bringing a coach of Mattie’s calibre and immense experience to Cuala lays down a marker of Cuala’s ambition in Dublin hurling.”

Kenny, meanwhile, added: “I am honoured to take up this appointment and I look eagerly forward to achieving success in a club with such an exciting pool of emerging hurling talent.

Kenny becomes the second high-profile addition to the hurling coaching rosters in the local area for the 2014 season following Clare man Ollie Baker’s arrival at Kilmacud Crokes in December.