Thursday 29 September 2016

Ex-Galway All-Ireland hurling final manager makes surprise switch to inter-county football

Published 01/05/2016 | 15:45

Former Galway manager Anthony Cunningham
Former Galway manager Anthony Cunningham

It didn't take Anthony Cunningham long to make a return to inter-county GAA after being removed as Galway hurling manager following a player heave but the code that he will be coaching may surprise some.

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Cunningham enjoyed, what appeared on the outside at least, to be a fruitful four-season stint in charge of the Tribesmen, guiding Galway to All-Ireland finals in 2012 and last year, where they were twice beaten by Kilkenny.

However, following last season's September defeat, the players told the county board they wanted a change in management, so Cunningham was ousted.

The former All-Ireland-winning Galway player expressed his disappointment with the decision but hasn't wasted any time in getting back involved with a county team.

The Laois county board confirmed to Independent.ie that Cunningham will join the backroom set-up of Mick Lillis' footballers as a coach, having been appointed last night.

Although the Galwegian has enjoyed a lot of success as a hurling manager, he has also achieved major honours in charge of football teams, winning county titles with St Brigid's of Roscommon and Garrycastle of Westmeath, guiding the latter to the 2011 All-Ireland club title.

Laois begin their 2016 Leinster championship campaign with a preliminary round clash with Wicklow on May 14th, with the winner playing Dublin in Nowlan Park in the provincial quarter-final on June 4th . The O'Moore county were recently relegated to Division 3.

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