Monday 11 November 2019

Galway expect progress on new hurling boss next week

It’s more than two months since Micheál Donoghue resigned after a three-year stint. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
It’s more than two months since Micheál Donoghue resigned after a three-year stint. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Martin Breheny and Michael Verney

The search for a new Galway hurling manager is expected to take at least another week as the committee charged with finding a replacement for Micheál Donoghue sifts through the options.

The drawn-out saga has dismayed Galway players and public alike, but it's understood that the committee will be in position to offer a nomination by the end of next week.

The group is comprised of Hurling Committee chairman Michael Larkin, secretary John Fahy, delegate Paul Bellew (Pearses) and former manager and three-time All-Ireland winner Noel Lane. The players are also involved in the process, with David Burke and Pádraig Mannion understood to be their two representatives.

It's more than two months since Donoghue resigned after a three-year stint. Franny Forde and Noel Larkin, who served as selectors with Donoghue, were flagged as likely replacements in a joint-manager role, but they declined.

Current U-20 manager Jeffrey Lynskey, who had a very successful run as minor manager, is also regarded as a genuine option.

Together with Clare, who are yet to decide on a manager, Galway are the only Liam MacCarthy Cup tier county without a manager. It has led to deep frustration in the county at a time when there's also dispute between the board and sponsors Supermac's.

Joe Canning remarked last week that unless the management issue was sorted out quickly, it "could set the county back years".

Meanwhile, attention will turn to the pitch on Sunday when Galway stage their semi-finals, with Cappataggle playing Liam Mellows and holders St Thomas' facing Turloughmore.

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Elsewhere, Davy Fitzgerald will have another passenger for his six-hour round-trip from Clare to Wexford next year after enlisting former Banner star Brendan Bugler for the 2020 season.

The Wexford boss was ratified for another two years at the Model helm at Tuesday's county board meeting with trusted lieutenant Seoirse Bulfin, former All-Ireland-winning camogie boss JJ Doyle and former county star Keith Rossiter remaining involved.

The only major change sees two-time All-Star defender Bugler replace Stephen Molumphy - who departed to work with new Waterford supremo Liam Cahill - as a selector as he cuts his teeth at inter-county management.

Sweating

The 34-year-old - a teacher in St Flannan's College in Ennis - retired from inter-county duty at the end of the 2017 season following 11 years of service and has worked as a coach with Galway side Loughrea this season.

Meanwhile, St Martin's are sweating on the availability of star man Rory O'Connor for their Wexford SHC final duel with St Anne's this weekend as he awaits a suspension appeal.

O'Connor was shown a red card in their semi-final defeat of Ferns St Aidan's but St Martin's have opted to go down the appeals process in a bid to have the exciting attacker line out in Sunday's decider.

O'Connor was handed a one-match ban but a similar situation arose 12 months ago with Wexford team-mate Cathal Dunbar, who had his suspension overturned on the eve of Naomh Éanna's final defeat of St Martin's, and they will hope that he is free to play.

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