Sunday 24 September 2017

Cunningham re-appointed on three-year Galway deal

Galway manager Anthony Cunningham
Galway manager Anthony Cunningham

John Fallon

Anthony CUNNINGHAM is set to become Galway's longest-serving manager since Cyril Farrell guided them to All-Ireland glory in the 1980s after being handed a three-year extension to his term in charge.

Cunningham's re-appointment is due to be ratified by the Galway County Board on Monday night when former All Star Kevin Walsh will also be given a three-year term as manager of the footballers.

Cunningham, who led Galway to an All-Ireland final draw against Kilkenny in 2012 in his first year in charge, saw his term end when his side were knocked out of the Championship this summer by Tipperary.

He was challenged for the position by his former coach Mattie Kenny, who had assembled a backroom team which included Tom Helebert, who was also a selector for the first two of Cunningham's years in charge, along with outgoing minor and former senior boss Mattie Murphy, and ex-Galway hurlers Justin Campbell and Jeff Lynskey.

Cunningham's new deal is for two years, with the option of a third. His outgoing selectors, Eugene Cloonan and Damien Curley, will again be on board.

Return

Meanwhile, Walsh will return to inter-county management a year after stepping down as manager of Sligo, where he spent five years in the hot seat.

Walsh will take over form Alan Mulholland after the only other candidate Pete Warren withdrew from the race before the interviews took place.

The new manager will be supported by Brian Silke, who has guided his club Corofin to glory.

His other selector, Sean Conlon, is part of the Barna management team led by former Mayo star Pat Fallon, who hope to reach the Galway SFC final for the first time when they take on city side St Michael's tomorrow.

Walsh is due to be in charge for three years, subject to annual reviews.

Meanwhile, two-time All-Ireland winner Joe McMahon has left a question mark hanging over his future with Tyrone.

After turning 31 last month, McMahon has a county final for Omagh St Enda's to look forward to against Carrickmore tomorrow - the club's first decider since 2005.

However, McMahon's changing circumstances means that he is unsure how he can report back to Tyrone duty in time for the Dr McKenna Cup. He has left his job as an Ulster Council coach and travels daily from Omagh to Coleraine in gaining his teaching qualification.

"I don't know just yet," said McMahon when asked if he is looking forward to putting an injury-ridden 2014 behind him in the county colours.

Irish Independent

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