Westmeath are set to appoint Dubliner Shane O'Brien as their new hurling manager, pending ratification at a county board meeting next week.

O'Brien, from the Cuala club, was a coach with the Dublin Under-21 team that won the Leinster championship and went on to reach the All-Ireland final in 2011.

Last year he was part of Joe Quaid's Westmeath management team and he has also spent time managing various club and colleges teams as well as the Dublin senior camogie side.

An impressive back room team has been assembled, with Paudie O'Neill on board as director of coaching.

Tipperary native O'Neill was coach during Eamon O'Shea's reign as Premier County manager and also served as chairman of the GAA's Hurling Development Committee.

Former Galway dual star Alan Kerins will have a performance and coaching role. Another high profile inter-county coach as well as a local selector are expected to be added in the coming weeks.

It's understood that the Westmeath players were influential in the appointment of O'Brien, after Quaid was informed in July that he would not be retained as manager.

Another member of that backroom team, former player Brendan Murtagh, is also remaining on as a selector.

News of these imminent appointments is likely to add to the excitement around hurling already building in Westmeath as they prepare to return after a long absence to Division 1 of the Allianz League in 2020.

They'll also be competing in the Joe McDonagh Cup, in which they finished runners-up this year, and their competitive season will begin in the Bord na Móna Walsh Cup.

New manager O'Brien will be a keen spectator at the upcoming semi-finals and final of the Westmeath SHC.