Sport Hurling

Saturday 24 March 2018

Cunningham facing battle in quest for Tribal hot seat

Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

THREE contenders have weighed in for the battle to replace John McIntyre as Galway hurling manager.

Anthony Cunningham, who led Galway's U-21s to All-Ireland success this year, Micheal Donoghue, who managed Clarinbridge to the All-Ireland club title last St Patrick's Day, and Johnny Kelly, who previously enjoyed similar success with Portumna, will be interviewed by an appointments committee, whose recommendations will go before a hurling board meeting on Monday, October 24.

Cunningham, who won All-Ireland senior, U-21 and minor medals with Galway in the 1980s, has had a busy season -- as well as managing the Galway U-21 hurlers, he is also in charge of Garrycastle (Westmeath), who drew with Mullingar in the county football final last Sunday.

The interview panel will be comprised of hurling board officials Joe Byrne (chairman), Pat Kearney (secretary) and John McGann (treasurer), county board chairman Gerry Larkin and club delegates Michael Kelly (Ballindereen) and Martin Bellew (Padraig Pearses).

The new manager will be appointed for three years, with a review carried out after two seasons.


Meanwhile, Kerry fear that they may lose their hurling manager, John Meyler, to Waterford. Meyler, who has done an excellent job in the Kingdom, is believed to be high on Waterford's target list as they seek a replacement for Davy Fitzgerald.

"It was only going to be a matter of time before one of the big counties came knocking at his door, as John is very highly regarded, and rightly so," said Kerry chairman Jerome Conway.

Meyler has wide managerial experience. Prior to the Kerry job, he was in charge of Wexford for two years and previously served as a Cork selector.

On the national front, senior officials from eight top hurling counties were due to meet last night to plan their strategy for next Tuesday's Central Council meeting, which will decide on the format for next year's Allianz Hurling League.

The six-team Division 1A and 1B groups, as agreed by Central Council as few weeks ago, are being challenged by eight top counties who want the system (eight-team Divisions 1 and 2) which applied for the past few years to remain in place.

Meanwhile, after winning their first All-Ireland championship game in 34 years in June, London's footballers could now be on course to play in next year's Connacht's FBD Insurance League.

Delegates at next Monday's London County Board meeting in Ruislip will discuss plans for the Exiles to become the first county side from overseas to enter one of the early-season competitions.

Irish Independent

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