Decorated ex-Kilkenny selector Martin Fogarty has been appointed National Hurling Development manager by the GAA.
The new role, which was recommended by the Hurling 2020 Committee, includes a specific responsibility for the development of hurling in Westmeath, Carlow, Offaly, Laois and Antrim.
Among the other aims of the committee will be a review of county games programmes for club players, devising other activities and initiatives with the aim of maximising participation across all levels of the games, and consideration of the restoration of a mentoring programme in designated counties.
Fogarty, who was a selector with Kilkenny from 2005-2013 when the Cats won six All-Ireland titles, said: “Hurling has always been my life and I’m delighted and honoured to have appointed as National Hurling Development manager.
“There is tremendous work taking place in the development and promotion of hurling around the country – not all of it being recognised and not all of it yielding trophies.
“But I want to shine a light on the work that is being done to grow the game and to support it and also work to ensure that hurling has a great future.”
Fogarty, who also led Kilkenny’s Under-21s to successive All-Ireland titles in 2003 and 2004, will take up the role at the end of August.
Chairman of the committee, Tipperary All-Ireland-winning manager Liam Sheedy, added: “I’m delighted the GAA has succeeded in appointing someone of Martin’s calibre.
“His understanding of and passion for the game is second to none and he will brings a wealth of experience in a variety of different areas to this role.
“I believe that Martin will make a tangible difference to the health and direction of hurling.”