Monday 23 October 2017

Doubts surround Kerins' Galway future

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Alan Kerins' future as a Galway inter-county hurler is shrouded in doubt as the new management team prepare to make radical change for the years ahead.

Kerins' name was not among the 37-man squad named by Anthony Cunningham and selectors Mattie Kenny and Tom Helebert over the weekend.

Some high-profile names have been released, including former All Star Ger Farragher and talented young attacker Joe Gantley.

The Galway management have not been able to make contact with Kerins as he is currently in Zambia working on the Alan Kerins Projects -- his charity that has benefited from €2m in fundraising efforts over the last few years.

The 34-year-old, who lost a Galway county final with Clarinbridge earlier this month, featured at corner-forward in most of Galway's championship matches this year.

It is understood that the management want to talk to Kerins to discuss his future before making any decision.

But there is speculation that he may be joining 2011 captain Damien Joyce, another former captain Shane Kavanagh, half-backs Donal Barry and Adrian Cullinane, Farragher and Gantley on the periphery.

Kerins only rejoined the Galway squad earlier this year after a two-year absence when his club form with All-Ireland champions Clarinbridge made him impossible for then manager John McIntyre to ignore.

Cunningham has stated that the door will remain open for all these players and that their form will be monitored closely in club games.

There are also plans to review the squad in advance of the start of the hurling league.

Cunningham has placed a strong emphasis on the U-21 All-Ireland-winning squad that defeated Dublin in the final last September.

There are 18 of that squad included, among them Richie Cummins, who is one of the brightest prospects in the county but has been blighted by injury.

Some 14 of the named squad are U-21 again in 2012, which reflects the direction Cunningham is keen to take.

Many in Galway acknowledge that significant change would have to be made after the county failed to reach the All-Ireland semi-finals for a sixth successive year.

If Kerins is moved on, it will leave just three players with previous All-Ireland semi-final experience on the panel -- David Collins, Damien Hayes and Tony Og Regan.

Irish Independent

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