Wednesday 21 February 2018

Infighting in Galway can't go on much longer - Kelly

Johnny Kelly
Johnny Kelly
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

A former candidate for the Galway hurling management job has raised doubts over whether the dressing-room dynamic between the current players and management can ever be repaired.

Johnny Kelly, the county's U-21 and intermediate team manager, who would have worked with Anthony Cunningham throughout the year and was in the mix last time out, admits the rift between many in the dressing room and the management is "strange."

Speaking at yesterday's Leinster club championship launch Kelly, who is manager of new Offaly champions Coolderry, wondered if "it (relationship between players and management) will ever be back to normal" after what has gone on in recent weeks.

"Being honest about it, if you lose a dressing room you are probably better off to admit defeat," he said.

"But having said that Anthony did get that team to an All-Ireland final, I think everyone should realise that fact and he has put in huge work rate over not alone the last three or four years, but the years previously with U-21s in Galway.

"He's been good for Galway so I think with respect to the man he deserves to be heard as well," said the two-time All-Ireland-winning club coach with Portumna.


"For a management that got a team to an All-Ireland final, you would say his job would be safe so, again, it is strange. Obviously there were concerns by some of the players, they voiced those concerns so I suppose the overriding factor is there needed to be a small bit of debate about that, and a sit-down meeting to clear the air. That would have been the prudent way to proceed."

Galway are seeking a mediator to commence a new round of talks between management and players and the controversy looks set to drag on into next month which concerns Kelly.

"There are no winners for anyone in Galway at the minute. Anthony is in a tricky situation, the players have made their views known and obviously they made that known prior to Anthony being ratified so, strange times ahead. With a mediator coming in I think it's prudent that everyone just sits back from the table and reflects on what happened.

"Galway had a good year this year at senior level and we need to be cognisant of that. If we are to move forward, we need everyone to pull together in Galway and get behind the team and management," Kelly added.

"It needs to be resolved as quickly as possible. It's important that Galway don't have this infighting continuing too much longer, particularly if there is to be a change in management.

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