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Donal Ó Fátharta: Eirgrid manager of the province - Connacht

Donal Ó Fátharta: Eirgrid manager of the province - Connacht

Donal Ó Fátharta: Eirgrid manager of the province - Connacht

It's fair to say that Donal Ó Fatharta isn't one to complicate matters.

The Galway U-20 football boss is far from old-school, though, with his everyday job as an Irish and geography teacher in Coláiste Cholmcille, Inverin helping keep his finger on the pulse when it comes to dealing with the modern GAA player.

Less is more for Ó Fatharta, however, and he won’t be overloading his squad with information during the coronavirus crisis; instead the Spiddal native will encourage them to make decisions for themselves.

"We made a conscious effort not to bombard guys from day one with it and leave them to their own devices. We left the guys up to themselves. We’d be big into that anyway, big into ownership and giving guys the responsibility to look after themselves," Ó Fatharta said.

"They are going to have to make decisions themselves under pressure to progress to the highest level so we try to keep it simple. We don’t try to complicate things, we try and give them the best habits that we can.

"Young fellas have a lot to juggle between school, college, exams, work and everything else but we try to embrace it and I’d say, ‘If you want to play for Galway, your lifestyle and juggling needs to be a big part of it.’

Detail

"That level of detail needs to be in your life as well and we try to practise for that without over-hyping it and keeping it as simple as we can."

While "life skills" and "the way guys mind themselves and carry themselves" are the goals off the pitch, the former Galway panellist has a similarly simplistic approach when the action is between the white lines.

Having been involved with various Galway sides for the last 20 years, he’s delighted to see Pádraic Joyce bringing flair and swagger to the Tribesmen at senior level.

"Pádraic is doing a super job so far, he's very forward-thinking and exciting to watch and that’s important. We all go to football matches and we try ourselves to be entertaining and attack as much as we can," he said.

"The ball can move a lot quicker with the foot than any guy. To win a football match you need to score more than the opposition so we give our guys licence to go in our half-back line and we attack as much as we can."

Irish Independent