Galway hail O Flatharta
A TOP Galway official has revealed that new senior football manager Tomas O Flatharta came very close to getting the job last year when Joe Kernan was appointed, WRITES CLIONA FOLEY.
Galway Football Board chairman John Joe Holleran said that O Flatharta, who is in America this week, was "very, very close" to getting the job last season when he was one of only two candidates.
"We had some different people on the interview panel this year but they were all very impressed with him," Holleran said.
Holleran said that O Flatharta got the nod over this year's candidates -- minor manager Gerry Fahy, Annaghdown boss Matt Duggan and former selector Pete Warren -- because of what he achieved with Westmeath, where he was initially a selector with Paidi O Se when they won the county's only Leinster title back in 2004.
"Tomas' experience in carving out many victories with a limited squad of players was a big factor," Holleran said.
"I am thinking of high-profile games against Dublin, Meath, Armagh, Tyrone and particularly against ourselves on a wet evening at Pearse Stadium."
He said that O Flatharta's ideas on interacting with local clubs, and how to unearth new talent in the county, were other key factors in recommending him.
Speaking to RTE Radio na Gaeltachta from New York yesterday, the ex-Westmeath manager said the Galway job will be "challenging" but said he felt privileged to be given it in a county with such a strong footballing tradition.
O Flatharta said his first priority will be to put together a "well-respected and experienced" backroom team.
He said the next step will to be to explore what new young talent could be introduced to strengthen the Galway panel and he's expected to attend the county senior football final, between Corofin and Killererin, tomorrow week.
Elsewhere, Omagh's appeal ahead of today's Tyrone SFC semi-final against Carrickmore to get three suspensions lifted by the Disputes Resolution Authority (DRA) was refused on Thursday night.