Cunningham officially on board as new Galway boss

As widely predicted, Anthony Cunningham was officially unveiled as the new Galway senior hurling manager tonight at a specially convened meeting of the county's Hurling Board.

Cunningham, who guided Galway to All-Ireland U-21 SHC glory in August, succeeds John McIntyre, who stepped down last month after a forgettable Championship campaign.

The 46-year-old's appointment was approved and ratified by Galway hurling club delegates at the Athenry meeting, following the recommendation of the committee set up to find McIntyre's replacement.

Cunningham, who hails from the St Thomas' club, has been given a three-year term.

His management team includes selectors Tom Helebert (Gort) and Mattie Kenny (Tynagh-Abbey-Duniry), who assisted him with the Galway U-21 hurlers.

Both Helebert and Kenny are highly-respected coaches. Helebert is a former hurling All-Star who was part of the management team that oversaw Clarinbridge's All-Ireland club success last season.

Kenny's management CV includes coaching Galway's All-Ireland U-21 winning side of 2005 as well as guiding his own club from intermediate level through to the senior ranks.

Cunningham was part of Galway's 'golden age' of hurling in the 1980s, winning All-Ireland minor and U-21 medals in 1983 and 1986 respectively before claiming All-Ireland senior honours in 1987 and 1988, as well as a National League title.

He managed Garrycastle to their third straight Westmeath SFC title last weekend and is set to continue in charge of the club until their involvement in the Leinster Club SFC campaign ends - they are due to play Longford Slashers in the first round in two weeks' time.

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