Sport Hurling

Saturday 23 September 2017

Cunningham declares interest in McIntyre job

Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

GALWAY U-21 boss Anthony Cunningham has admitted he is interested in taking over the county's senior hurlers, but has parked all thoughts of that until after tomorrow's All-Ireland final clash with Dublin.

"I think anyone who has played for Galway would be interested in the challenge," said All-Ireland winner Cunningham.

"I think they are better than they have shown in the last few years and the pedigree is there. You have a good stream of young players, too, so there is plenty to work with.

"But John McIntyre is still there and you have to respect that. It's a decision for the clubs to make now and all our concentration is on this final."

After last weekend's minor success, the U-21s have once again displayed the county's remarkable ability to reach championship pace against battle-hardened opponents, despite a lack of a provincial competition and for the second year in a row, Galway and Cunningham find themselves in the final of the Bord Gais Energy-sponsored competition.

Last year's decider was infamously played in Thurles against Tipperary, just a week after the Premier had won Liam MacCarthy.

FURIOUS

Galway were furious and there had been talk of a boycott. A 25-point defeat justified their anger, but Cunningham believes Galway are a better side for it.

"It was difficult playing them in Thurles," said Cunningham. "But it wasn't just home advantage that won it for them. To be fair, they had a serious team with the likes of Noel McGrath and Michael Cahill.

"But we still have a dozen or so involved from last year and they'll have learned from it."

Galway were superb in their semi-final win over Limerick, with the likes of captain Barry Daly and Niall Burke, who landed seven points from play, producing towering displays.

There's an expectation that tomorrow's final could produce another gripping encounter.

"Dublin have come through Leinster and they beat a very good Wexford team in the final," warned Cunningham. "They've a huge work rate and we'll have to match that first and see where that takes us."

And if that takes Galway to an All-Ireland title, Cunningham's already impressive credentials for the senior job will have been bolstered further.

However, he'll have little time to dwell on that, because on Sunday he switches to the big-ball game as he looks to guide Westmeath club football side Garrycastle past Tyrrellspass and into another county final.

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport