By Damian Dolan
Former Warwickshire and John Mitchel’s manager Tony Joyce has played down speculation linking him with a dramatic return to hurling in London.
Joyce dismissed talk of a move to London 2018 senior county finalists Robert Emmetts as “hearsay”, but did confirm that has spoken with the club – as well as a number of other clubs – and is “keen” to get back involved.
Exactly when and where remains to be seen, however.
“They’ve [Robert Emmetts] been chatting with me and asking me to come and help them out, but I’ve made no decision,” Joyce told the Irish World.
“A few clubs have asked me to get involved with them, including from Warwickshire, and I’ve chatted with a few of them. I’ve been asked me to do a bit of coaching.
“As soon as it came out that I wasn’t doing Warwickshire this year, everyone was on the phone because of the success we had.”
Joyce, whose home club is Gort Na Mona in Antrim, stepped down as manager of Warwickshire and Birmingham’s John Mitchels last year.
He guided Warwickshire Lory Meagher success in 2017 and last year to a Nicky Rackard final, as well as to league victory (Div 3A).
He also won a Warwickshire county championship and a first All-Britain club title since 2009 with Mitchel’s.
Joyce lives south of Stratford-upon-Avon, putting him just 50 minutes from Ruislip, and would not rule out an approach from a London club.
“I know all the clubs in London fairly well,” he said.
Joyce says that work is his priority at the moment, with the uncertainties surrounding Brexit, and he doesn’t foresee a return to hurling management until next year. Although he’s not ruling it out, if circumstances were to change.
“I’m definitely keen to get back in, sooner or later, but where I go, I don’t know….whether it’s Warwickshire or London,” he said.
“This year I’ll maybe do a bit of coaching here and there. But if things dramatically change and everything is hunky-dory [re Brexit] then I’d definitely look to get back in somewhere.”