Tuesday 24 October 2017

Galway rift to enter a third week as talks are suspended

Anthony Cunningham
Anthony Cunningham
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Anthony Cunningham offered his resignation as Galway hurling manager when he was approached by a delegation of players prior to his re-appointment.

A senior Galway GAA source has also confirmed the players did not request that Cunningham resign, but that changes be made ahead of the 2016 campaign.

"He offered to walk away but was told that this was not what was wanted. The players wanted changes and discussions took place about how they might be implemented," he said.

The players who met Cunningham were yesterday named as captain David Collins, vice-captain Andy Smith, Joe Canning and David Burke.

None of the players, management or officers would comment publicly on the matter last night as all parties try to find a solution to the dispute.

Galway have suspended talks on the impasse until next week because of the involvement of the majority of the outgoing squad in county championship quarter-finals this weekend.

County Board officials are still confident that a settlement can be reached with Cunningham still at the helm albeit with changes to his backroom team.

The players have expressed concerns over coaching issues, Cunningham's communication with them and delegation of duties among his backroom team.

In August prior to the All-Ireland semi-final win over Tipperary, Collins gave Cunningham a glowing reference with some interesting comments.

"Anthony is a real players' guy," he said. "He listens to the players and what information they are feeding back in terms of what training loads they need to be put through.

"He's got great buy-in from players, and the positive attitude is there towards him so once he has that. If you are losing players and you are losing the dressing room then you are in trouble. He hasn't done that."

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