Farrell, Silke and Canning included in Galway's new brains trust
GALWAY have called on some of their most famous hurling names to plan for the future after another confusing season where the seniors flopped again while underage teams continued to prosper.
It means that there is unlikely to be any decision on the senior team manager's job until late September or early October.
Included on the special committee, tasked with looking at a broad range of issues, are former GAA president Joe McDonagh (chairman), Cyril Farrell, Conor Hayes, Sean Silke, Ollie Canning and Pete Finnerty. Sean Walsh (Galway Bay FM) and various representatives from the clubs and county board are also aboard.
"We have gone for the broadest possible range of interested parties. We want to liaise with all the stakeholders in Galway hurling to see what's the best way forward, not just in relation to county matters, but also to the club scene, fixtures, player development and anything else they think is relevant," said Hurling Board chairman Joe Byrne.
The committee won't have a direct input into the appointment of managers but it's unlikely that such an experienced and influential group won't make their feelings on the issue known.
Senior manager John McIntyre has made no announcement on his post since last month's defeat by Waterford.
Byrne said it was important to prepare a blueprint to put before the hurling board. The special committee are expected to issue their findings next month.
"We need to know what clubs want, what players want and how we can streamline the entire scene," he said.
With so many high-profile personalities involved, there will be big interest in their findings, which are expected to be quite radical.
McDonagh, Hayes, Silke and Finnerty won seven All-Ireland senior medals between in them in the 1980-88 period. Farrell managed Galway to All-Ireland glory in 1980, '87 and '88; Hayes managed them in 2003-06 with Silke as coach; Canning played for over a decade but ended his career without an All-Ireland senior medal.
McIntyre has been in charge for three years, a period in which Galway failed to reach the All-Ireland semi-finals -- a fate that has befallen them every season since '05.
However, Galway continue to enjoy success at underage level. The minors, managed by Mattie Murphy, and U-21s (Anthony Cunningham) have reached next month's All-Ireland finals where they will both play Dublin. Murphy has twice served as Galway senior manager in the past while a win for the U-21s would make Cunningham a serious candidate for the top job.