'We have had some amazing days' - Micheal Donoghue steps down as Galway hurling manager
Micheal Donoghue has stepped down as Galway hurling manager after four seasons in charge
In a surprise development, Donoghue confirmed the news to local radio station Galway Bay FM, saying the time was right to step aside.
It had been expected that he would continue on, despite their championship exit in June.
"I, together with the Galway Senior Hurling Management team, informed the Galway County Board that we are not taking up the fifth year of our term," Donoghue said in a statement to Galway Bay FM.
"We would like to thank Galway GAA for the opportunity they gave us to lead Galway Hurling - it was the opportunity of a lifetime and was both an honour and privilege to do.
"We started out in December 2015 with the simple goal to bring success back to Galway hurling and to build a culture of professionalism and consistency in performance. Since then we have had some amazing days most notably the 2017 All Ireland success. After four seasons we feel the time is now right to hand on the opportunity to a new management team."
Donoghue also thanked the players for their dedication while he was at the helm, the backroom team, family and supporters.
"We would like to thank the players for their honesty, dedication and commitment to their sport and county," Donoghue added.
"We would like to acknowledge and thank our background team and support staff who worked with us for their expertise and service to the Galway senior hurling team.
"To our families and our employers - thank you for being so understanding and supportive of the time commitment a job like this takes. To our main sponsor Supermacs and the many other sponsors who give so willingly their support - thank you, it is greatly appreciated."
Galway's 2019 campaign had been impacted by a serious groin injury to Joe Canning that put him out of their opening three matches.
But their final round loss to Dublin, on the same night that Wexford drew with Kilkenny, put them out in a dramatic turn of events.
Donoghue took over from Anthony Cunningham in 2015 after Cunningham had been ousted by the players.
He won an All-Ireland title with them in 2017 and came close in 2016 and 2018, losing to the eventual champions by a point each time, Tipperary in the 2016 semi-final and Limerick in 2018.
He leaves behind a good legacy and a squad still brimming with talent and much promise which will draw a lot of interest from prospective managers.