By Damian Dolan
Fulham Irish have appointed former London boss Fergus McMahon as its new hurling manager, as part of a concerted effort by the club to win promotion to senior.
McMahon spent four years as London manager and guided the team to a Christy Ring Cup final in 2018, before stepping down.
Fulham Irish chairperson Liam Barry says the appointment will help the club achieve its goal of senior hurling – something it needs if it is to attract dual players.
“We ended up losing players because dual players wanted to play senior football and hurling, and we couldn’t offer senior hurling,” Barry told the Irish World.
“We have to give dual players the opportunity to do that [with Fulham Irish], so we need our hurlers competing at the top level in London.
“We’re not known as a hurling club, so it’s very hard for us to attract top class hurlers. So we’ve got to take measures to change that.”
Barry says the capture of McMahon is the first step in a three-year plan – the second step is to maintain senior status, once up, and then to compete.
“If you attract a top class manager he in turn will attract senior hurlers, and that will push us on,” added Barry.
As a player, McMahon captained London to Nicky Rackard Cup success in 2005, and two years later led Robert Emmetts to an historic All-Ireland IHC Club victory. He also won numerous county titles with Emmetts.
“Our hurling team has always been well run and the structure is there, and a manager of Fergus’ status will hopefully help us to win an intermediate championship,” said Barry.
“It would be nice to be at the top table of hurling in London as well.”
Cathal Keogh’s transfer request to Fulham Irish was approved by CCC despite an objection from Robert Emmetts.
Emmetts also objected to transfer requests from Brian Mackey and Rory Costello, and both will now have to wait 48 weeks (from the date of their last game for Emmetts) before their transfers can be processed and they can also join Fulham.
Mackey and Costello both featured off the bench for Emmetts in last year’s senior championship final defeat to St Gabriels.
The club has also lost another of its substitutes that day, with Eoin Chawke making the move to senior newboys Thomas McCurtains.
Fulham’s hurlers won the intermediate championship in 2012, but were relegated from senior the following year.
They reached the final in 2011, losing out to Michael Cusack’s, and again in 2015, when they were beaten by St Gabriels ‘B’.