Time for Galway to make right call
Published 18/09/2011 | 05:00
We're so accustomed to heaping scorn on Galway for persistent underachievement at senior level, it's easy to forget that the Tribesmen must also be doing an incredible amount right. Because any county would be envious of Galway's achievements this year at underage level. Winning the under 21 football, under 21 hurling and minor hurling titles was a spectacular achievement in itself, but what really caught the eye was how convincing those final victories were, suggesting that all three title-winning teams were of exceptional quality.
We heard an immense amount about the work being done at juvenile level in Dublin and how the Dubs were poised to become an all-conquering under-age juggernaut. But in the end, Galway comfortably derailed the 'Drive for Five' and ended up with their own 'Spree for Three'. There's obviously some pretty good work being done on the ground in Galway too.
The resignation of John McIntyre means that Galway are without managers in both senior football and hurling. It also means that the county is at a critical juncture. In the past, the county board has made ill-advised managerial selections that have made the process of turning underage promise into senior achievement all the more difficult. The parachuting in of Joe Kernan, Ger Loughnane and Tomás Ó Flatharta sent the county into rapid reverse.
Now they have an opportunity to get it right. And they can do so by appointing Alan Mulholland, who brought minor and under 21 teams to All-Ireland glory, and by giving the hurling job to Anthony Cunningham, who was in charge of this year's under 21 team. It's as simple as that. So simple you'd hope Galway don't shoot themselves in the foot again. It's not encouraging, for example, to see that Mulholland is merely one candidate on a shortlist which will see potential bosses being interviewed. Interviewed? What can Alan Mulholland say in an interview that his teams haven't said on the field?
You'd hope Galway get it right this time. Because if they do, the future could be maroon. The stakes are high. It's a great county and it deserves success.
Sunday Indo Sport