Kerins calls on Galway to look outside county for route back to the summit
ALAN Kerins is not sure if he will still be involved in helping to steer Galway back to the top of hurling, but he believes the Tribesmen need to look outside the county for inspiration.
A disappointing 2011 ended with John McIntyre's departure as manager after his side meekly exited the championship at the hands of Waterford in the All-Ireland quarter-finals.
Although the county went on to claim minor and U-21 success, underage trophies have proven difficult to turn into senior currency in the past decade and Kerins believes the solution may lie with their rivals for the big prizes.
Personally, he will wait until his involvement with All-Ireland club champions Clarinbridge comes to an end before making his mind up on his own future, but Kerins says that the county must go back to the drawing board and come up with a plan that will tap into the talent at its disposal.
"The talent is there, everybody knows that," he said. "It's about assessing the problem, which the county board are trying to do, and to see why the success isn't being translated to senior level and then to put the structures in place to try and develop the youngsters.
"I think we have to look at best practice. Look at Tipperary, Kilkenny and Dublin and maybe mirror what they are doing from earlier than minor and U-21 -- from 14 up.
"It's a mystery to everyone, even ourselves, as to why we're not achieving. Hopefully, the new manager -- whoever he is -- is given time and will be able to nurture and bring forward the minor and U-21 teams and to work on the physical, mental and technical side of the game."
There is one accolade missing from the medal collection in the Kerins household. The dual star has won club and county All-Irelands in football and added the hurling club title last year, but a Liam MacCarthy Cup victory has so far eluded him.
Kerins was at Croke Park yesterday on behalf of his charity, launching the GAA Challenge 2011, which offers fans who raise €2,500 through sponsorship the chance to play for Dublin, under Pat Gilroy, or Galway, under John O'Mahony, in a 70-minute challenge match at Croke Park. All monies will go towards his Zambia-based charity.
Kerins keeps a close eye on the big ball and is impressed with the arrival of Alan Mulholland as the replacement for Tomas O Flatharta this week.
"Alan is a very, very capable man. He has a very good track record, with minor and U-21 All-Irelands with different squads.
"It's a great appointment, he's young, he's up with the game and he'll get the best out of them."