Friday 19 January 2018

Galway join growing list of counties in need of fresh faces at top

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

IT'S turning into quite a summer on the managerial merry-go-round as Galway football becomes the latest to begin the search for a new boss after Joe Kernan's departure.

Galway, Mayo, Derry, Laois, Cavan and Fermanagh are all in the market for football managers while there's uncertainty in Kerry, Monaghan, Wexford and Wicklow. Donegal have already made a transition with Jim McGuinness replacing JJ Doherty, who quit after a disappointing championship campaign in which they lost to Down and Armagh.

Niall Rigney (Laois) is the only high-profile hurling manager to depart so far but there's a doubt over Joe Dooley's future in Offaly. He has asked for a few weeks to consider his position. Limerick, meanwhile, are in the process of appointing a hurling manager and it's thought unlikely that Justin McCarthy will be asked to continue for a third year.

Kernan's departure, which was confirmed last night, leaves Galway seeking their third football manager in three years. Peter Ford completed his three-year term at the end of 2007 and was replaced by Liam Sammon, who remained for two seasons.

He was replaced by Kernan at the end of last season but that relationship has ended after just one term following an insistence by the Galway Football Board that he make changes to his back-room team. "That was something I couldn't accept," he said.

Kernan was confidently expected to return for a second year but following discussions last week it emerged that difficulties had arisen. His resignation leaves Connacht's 'big two' seeking managers as John O'Mahony, who guided Galway to All-Ireland titles in 1998 and 2001, resigned after Mayo lost to Longford in the qualifiers.

Kernan's move could have implications for Sligo, where former Galway midfielder Kevin Walsh is manager. Sligo are keen to retain Walsh but there's likely to be pressure from Galway for Walsh to return to his native county.

Leitrim have ended weeks of speculation over Mickey Moran's future by reappointing him for a third successive year. However, Moran's long-time assistant, John Morrison, will not be staying on. He intends to pursue coaching interests elsewhere.

Moran, who is heading into his third year with Leitrim, will also manage the U-21 and junior teams.

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