David Forde joins Galway backroom team

David Forde joins Galway backroom team

Former Galway hurler David Forde has joined new manager Shane O’Neill’s backroom team — as a selector.

O’Neill has been busy assembling his backroom staff since being appointed Galway manager earlier this month and with new coach John Fitzgerald also a Limerick native, it was expected O’Neill’s selectors would come from inside the county.

Forde, who was centre-forward on the Galway team to reach the 2005 All-Ireland final and managed his native Clarinbridge this year, has been brought on board as one of those selectors. It has been speculated that Forde’s former Galway teammate Fergal Healy will be another of O’Neill’s selectors.

Elsewhere, Munster counties have decided to play the majority of the Munster Senior Hurling League pre-Christmas. Tipperary’s team holiday necessitates the Premier County play their games pre-Christmas, but Cork, Kerry, and Waterford in Group B have opted to run off two rounds of games in the week before Christmas. Cork welcome Kerry to Páirc Uí Rinn on December 18 and are away to Waterford two days later. The McGrath Cup will be run off post-Christmas.

Meanwhile, the GAA has been urged to scrap penalty shoot-outs, with a warning that the mental wellbeing of players is being placed at risk. Colm McGuinness, manager of Eoghan Ruadh Dungannon, who lost the Ulster Club IHC final last weekend on penalties, insisted it is an unacceptable method of settling drawn games. “From a mental health point of view, if you had been the boy that missed that penalty, how are you going to feel? I think it’s a shame on the Ulster Council that they’re forcing boys to take penalties to get the match out of the way,” he said.

The Dungannon boss said it was fortunate that, in this case, no single player was left to bear the brunt of his side’s shoot-out loss, with Naomh Eanna of Antrim winning 1-0 after both goalkeepers pulled off a string of brilliant saves.

Naming rights of Laois’ county ground, O’Moore Park, have been awarded to Matty Walsh MW Hire Group. The venue will now be known as MW Hire O’Moore Park.

The national fixtures taskforce met last night and their recommendations are expected by the end of the month.

Munster SHL Sunday, December 15:

Group A: Tipperary v Clare, Nenagh, 2pm.

Wednesday, December 18:

Group B: Cork v Kerry, Páirc Uí Rinn, 7.30pm.

Friday, December 20:

Group A: Limerick v Tipperary, Gaelic Grounds, 7.30pm; Group B: Waterford v Cork, Fraher Field, 7.30pm.

Sunday, December 29:

Group A: Clare v Limerick, Sixmilebridge, 2pm; Group B: Kerry v Waterford, Austin Stack Park, 2pm.

Final is Sunday, January 12.

McGrath Cup Sunday, December 29:

Group A: Limerick v Clare, Mick Neville Park, Rathkeale, 2pm; Group B: Kerry v Cork, Austin Stack Park, 2pm.

Thursday, January 2:

Group A: Waterford v Limerick, Fraher Field, 7.30pm; Group B: Cork v Tipperary, Páirc Uí Rinn, 7.30pm.

Sunday, January 5:

Group A: Clare v Waterford, Cusack Park, Ennis, 2pm; Group B: Tipperary v Kerry, Clonmel, 2pm. Final is Saturday, January 11.

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