Cunningham set for Galway job as McIntyre reign over
Published 16/09/2011 | 05:00
ANTHONY Cunningham has already been installed as the odds-on favourite to fill the senior vacancy left by John McIntyre yesterday.
The county's hurling board will meet early next week to agree the official process for appointing McIntyre's successor, but Cunningham is already hotly tipped after managing their U-21s to a comprehensive All-Ireland final win over Dublin just six days ago.
Cunningham immediately expressed interest in the job, but stressed he would be running on a management 'group ticket'. "I am interested in putting my name forward for the manager's job, but we will be going forward as a management team en bloc," he said. "Mattie Kenny and Tom Helebert, as coaches, have done an excellent job (with the U-21s) all year.
"I'm sure the hurling board will be putting a process in place to find the next manager. It is their call along with the clubs, but we are interested in getting the opportunity."
Cunningham indicated that he would not favour a slash-and-burn of Galway's current seniors. "John McIntyre and his team were not found wanting in the work and time they put into the job," he said. "The raw materials are there and the existing players can still contribute enormously to Galway.
"We saw last Saturday that there is some good talent coming through, the challenge is now to transfer that onto the senior team," added Cunningham, who, unusually, has also led St Brigid's of Roscommon to a Connacht club football title and managed Garrycastle's footballers in Westmeath.
Galway County Board thanked McIntyre and his team of John Moylan, John Hardiman and Joe Connolly for their "hard work and honest endeavours over the past three years."
McIntyre, who led Galway to a league title last year, revealed yesterday that he had come close to resigning in the immediate aftermath of their 10-point All-Ireland quarter-final loss.
"In my hearts of hearts, I knew the game was up when we fell so disappointingly to Waterford," he said. "It was a dispiriting defeat, there are no excuses."
McIntyre said he had delayed his decision to gauge opinion locally and to give his view directly to club delegates, which he did in his annual report last week.
"There is a mood for change out there. I've had three years and in terms of championship glory, haven't cracked it," he said. "There will be no cheap shots, recriminations or blame game. I was honoured and proud to serve Galway hurling and I wish the county the best of luck."
Meanwhile, Galway camogie is also looking for a new senior manager as Noel Finn has stepped down in the wake of last weekend's second consecutive senior All-Ireland final loss to Wexford.