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Andy Comerford

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Irish name  Andrias Comartun
Kilkenny titles  2
Sport  Hurling
Leinster titles  1

Position  Midfield
Name  Andy Comerford
Years  Club
All irelands  3
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Education  Waterford Institute of Technology

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Andy Comerford (born 1972 in London, England) is a hurling manager and former player, currently embarking on his first season as manager of the Kildare senior inter-county team. He played hurling with his local club O'Loughlin Gaels and with both the Kilkenny and London senior inter-county team in the 1990s and 2000s.

Contents

Early life

Andy Comerford was born in London, England in 1972. He spent the first seven years of his life in London before moving to Kilkenny in Ireland. While in London Comerford never saw a game of hurling and his first introduction to the game was when his father made a makeshift hurley for him out of a floorboard. In Kilkenny Comerford played hurling with his brothers Jimmy and Martin on the local O'Loughlin Gaels club. He was educated at St. Kieran's College, a famed hurling nursery. His hurling skills quickly earned him a place on the senior team and he won back-to-back All-Ireland colleges titles in 1989 and 1990. Comerford later attended Waterford Institute of Technology where he won a Fitzgibbon Cup medal with the college hurling team in 1992. Shortly after his graduation from college, Comerford moved to London.

Club

Comerford played his club hurling with the O'Loughlin Gaels club in Kilkenny. He had much success at under-age levels with the club and later, when he lived in London, he joined the Brother Pearse's Gaelic Athletic Association club. When Comerford returned to Kilkenny he rejoined the O'Loughlin Gaels club, winning Kilkenny SHC titles in 2001 and 2003 and a Leinster Senior Club Hurling Championship title in 2003.

Inter-county

While still attending St. Kieran's College Comerford joined the Kilkenny minor hurling panel. In 1990 he won an All-Ireland title with the team in a thrilling replay against Cork. By 1993 he was playing with the Kilkenny under-21 team, however, his side were beaten by Galway in the All-Ireland final of that year.

In England Comerford joined the London senior hurling team. In 1995 he won an All-Ireland Senior "B" Championship title with the side, defeating Wicklow and New York in the process. This victory allowed London to play in the quarter-final of the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship against Down, however, the side lost. In 1996 Comerford returned to Kilkenny and earned a place on the Kilkenny senior hurling panel. He made his debut in the black and amber jersey in 1997 in the Leinster Championship against Dublin. Between 1998 and 2000 Comerford played in three consecutive All-Ireland finals. Kilkenny were defeated by Offaly and Cork in the first two years, however, in 2000 Kilkenny defeated Offaly with a huge score. It was Comerford’s first All-Ireland medal with the seniors. Two years later in 2002 Kilkenny were back in another All-Ireland final and this time Comerford was captain. He guided his side to a comfortable win over Clare and won his second All-Ireland medal in the process. Comerford claimed a third All-Ireland title in 2003 when he came on as a substitute the final against Cork. He subsequently retired from inter-county hurling.

Provincial

Comerford also line dout with Leinster in the inter-provincial hurling comeption. He was captain of his province in 2002 as Leinster defeated an all-Galway Connacht team, giving him a Railway Cup medal.

Kildare

In retirement from playing Comerford turned his attentions to coaching. In late 2007 he was appointed manager of the Kildare senior hurling team.

Comerford's first season in charge got off to a mixed start in the National Hurling League. Kildare had some victories in the group stages, however, the team failed to make the knock-out stages of the competition. Kildare's next competitive game was a Christy Ring Cup first round game against Derry. Comerford's side easily won that game by 2-28 to 1-12. The next game saw Kildare trounce Armagh with a facile 5-16 to 0-13 victory. This win saw Kildare top division 2D of the Christy Ring Cup and book a place in the quarter-finals of the competition. That game was played at home in St. Conleth's Park with Westmeath, the reigning champions, providing the opposition. After an exciting game Kildare, in spite of home advantage, were still defeated by 3-13 to 2-22. This brought Kildare's cup campaign to an end.

In 2009, Kildare played in Division 3A of the National Hurling League, winning three of their matches and losing two. This allowed them to qualify for the Division 3A Final, where they beat Meath, promoting them to Division 2 for 2010. They later played in the Christy Ring Cup, beating Westmeath, but losing to Carlow and Mayo.

References

Andy Comerford Wikipedia