Sunday 20 October 2019

Liam Kearns emerges as contender for Galway football job while hurling shortlist to be revealed

Liam Kearns. Photo: Sportsfile
Liam Kearns. Photo: Sportsfile
Former Tipperary manager Liam Kearns. Photo: Sportsfile

John Fallon

Galway GAA officials are this (TUESDAY) evening expected to hear the shortlist for the first time which has been drawn up to replace Micheal Donoghue as manager.

The list to replace Kevin Walsh as Galway football manager has been whittled down to four after clubs in the county had the opportunity to nominate candidates for both positions.

A meeting of Galway Management Committee in Oranmore is also expected to draw up a selection committee to interview candidates for both jobs.

Former Tipperary manager Liam Kearns has emerged as a serious challenger to Padraic Joyce to take over as football manager.

The race to succeed Kevin Walsh has been whittled down to four candidates with junior manager Matt Duggan from Annaghdown and Tuam native Alan Flynn, who has coached Kildare and Clare, also in the running.

But the process to replace Micheal Donoghue is less clear with the names of those nominated by last Friday's deadline not being released.

The process to find a new football manager is more advanced and it's understood that all four nominated have declared their intention to run.

Joyce, who managed the Galway U-20s to a county title earlier this year with a management team which included former All-Ireland winning colleague John Divilly, is regarded as the front-runner.

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Flynn has built up a strong reputation after coaching Galway to the 2013 All-Ireland U-21 title and with Colm Collins in Clare and Cian O'Neill in Kildare, but Kearns' nomination is the third time he has been linked to the job.

The Kerry native was strongly fancied to take over in 2004 but opted to remain with Limerick and the job was handed to Mayo's Peter Ford, while six years later he was again linked to the post before Tomás Ó Flatharta took charge.

It is understood that Kearns, who guided Tipperary to an All-Ireland senior semi-final appearance in 2016 in the first of his four years in charge, has indicated he's keen to take charge of the Tribesmen.

Meanwhile, Galway officials are trying to establish if those nominated by clubs to succeed Donoghue as hurling boss are willing to go forward to contest the position after speculation last week that Davy Fitzgerald might be in the running proved wide of the mark.

It is understood that outgoing selectors Franny Forde and Noel Larkin are among those nominated, while there is also support for minor boss Brian Hanley, U-20 manager Jeffrey Lynskey and former Clare coach Louis Mulqueen, former U-21 and camogie manager Tony Ward among others.

Galway hurling officials have been talking to those nominated to see if they are willing to go forward and a list is expected to be unveiled at tonight's management committee meeting.

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