Brian Carroll admits that it will be a while before he considers getting involved in inter-county management again following the personal abuse that was aimed at him in recent weeks.
Carroll came on board with his native Offaly as coach alongside interim manager Joachim Kelly following Kevin Martin's dismissal as boss in a bid to save the Faithful County's season.
It didn’t work, Offaly lost to Kerry in Tralee and were relegated from the Joe McDonagh Cup to the tier three Christy Ring Cup.
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Carroll says there was abuse from the terraces, but what was worse was the online attacks and one particular Twitter outburst from Offaly legend Daithí Regan who slammed the interim management.
"I was the only one named and it was directed at me almost in a personal attack," said Carroll, speaking on the RTÉ GAA Podcast.
"It’s the timing of it which was most disappointing; in the days before what was the biggest game of the hurling year from the Offaly perspective. That was coupled with online abuse and abuse coming in from the terraces.
"People will tell me that are longer in this game that it’s just par for the course. I got a rude awakening and it’s something I wouldn’t be too quick to get involved in again after seeing that side of things.
"I’m 36, I have a young family, I’m still hurling with my club Coolderry, I literally put my life on hold for the last month to try to get Offaly hurling back up to where we want it to be.
"Many people have been in similar positions to me and have been asked to get involved who have never answered the call. It was disappointing to have a lot of that thrown back in your face."
Defeat to the Kingdom condemned Offaly to the drop – a win would have saved them – and Carroll admits that the management came up short.
"Morale was at an all-time low so it certainly was very difficult. All we could do in such a short time-frame was to be as positive as we could, try and go back to basics and increase the intensity lads trained at, zone in on key areas like work-rate and the basics of hurling," he said.
"We wanted to marry that to a simple enough game plan and get the lads to gel as a team. We were trying to pick the players who were in form – we said from the start that whoever was performing in training was going to be picked. That was all we could do and it turns out we didn't do enough."
Offaly will play their league hurling in Division 2A next season and the Christy Ring in championship, leaving them well outside hurling’s top tier. It’s a long way from the glory days of the eighties and nineties when the Faithful won four senior All-Ireland titles.
"We’ve had three relegations in-a-row – we were relegated from the Leinster Championship into the Joe McDonagh, from Division 1B to 2A in the league and now from the Joe McDonagh into the Christy Ring. We’re a county that’s in freefall," said Carroll.
"We had unprecedented success in the eighties and nineties and it’s going to be extremely difficult ever to get to those levels again.
"The demographics of the situation don’t lend themselves to Offaly consistently playing and competing at the top level again."
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