Kearns throws hat into ring for Galway job

LIAM KEARNS has expressed an interest in taking charge of the Galway footballers.

But the former Limerick and Laois boss said that he has not been contacted and is not aware of an imminent approach regarding the job.

Former All Star Kevin Walsh was favourite to take over his native county following the surprise resignation of Joe Kernan after less than a year in charge. However, the double All-Ireland winner this week pledged his future to Sligo for the next two seasons.

Kearns has since emerged as the bookies’ favourite for the job with the Galway-based John Mulholland Bookmakers slashing his odds from 5/1 to 2/1 following Walsh’s decision.

Kearns said that he had not been contacted in relation to the vacancy.

“Of course I would have to consider it if I was approached about a position such as the Galway job but I have not been approached and I’m not aware that I’m being considered,” said the Irish Examiner columnist.

Kearns was strongly linked to the position six years ago but he remained with Limerick and Peter Ford took over Galway for three years. Kearns enjoyed enormous success with the Shannonsiders, guiding them to two Munster U21 titles and two senior final appearances, forcing his native Kerry to a replay in the 2004 decider. He then moved to Laois for two years and has been associated with vacancies in a number of counties over the past two years.

The Galway Football Board has invited clubs in the county to send nominations forward for the position, but a deadline has not yet been set for names to be received. The new boss will be Galway’s fourth manager since 2007, with Liam Sammon having taken over for two years from Peter Ford before Kernan was appointed last September.

Meanwhile, Roscommon are hopeful Fergal O’Donnell will remain in charge next season, amid fears he may be considering stepping down due to work and family commitments.

A spokesperson for Roscommon County Board said that the matter would be raised in early September and he was hopeful that the inspirational manager would remain in charge. O’Donnell has asked for some time to consider his position following a hectic year which saw relegation to Division Four but then a remarkable recovery in the championship to take the Connacht title against favourites Sligo.

The Connacht U21 title was also secured during the year with O’Donnell, who led them to an All-Ireland minor title five seasons ago, lifting a senior side who were hammered by Mayo by 20 points last year to return to Castlebar last month and defeat Sligo by 0-14 to 0-13 in the Connacht final. Roscommon bowed out of the championship at the quarter-final stage to Cork and since then there has been growing speculation in the county that O’Donnell may step down.

“It’s the wish of Roscommon County Board that Fergal will stay in charge and we are hopeful that he will continue to build on the great work he has carried out. The county has received a huge lift this summer and at the moment people are taking a break after a hectic year. The matter will be raised early next month and it is hoped that Fergal will remain in charge,” said the spokesperson for Roscommon County Board.

The huge lift in the county’s fortunes has been reflected by unprecedented support for the county board’s members draw with over 3,300 tickets at €100 each being sold.

DUBLIN (U21 hurling v Galway): F McGarry; R Walsh, D Kelly, O Gough; R O'Loughlin, M Quilty, P Kelly; C Clinton, P Buckeridge; D Quinn, D Plunkett, B O'Rorke; C Brennan, L Rushe, N McMorrow

TIPPERARY (U21 hurling v Antrim): J Logue; K O’Gorman, J Coghlan, M Cahill; J Barry, Padraic Maher (Captain), B Maher; S Hennessy, N McGrath, S Carey, Patrick Maher, B O’Meara; M Heffernan, P Murphy, J O’Dwyer.

MAYO (Minor hurling v Tyrone): P Mannion; B Harrison, N Freeman, C Twomey; R Quirke, C Walsh, C Horan; D Kirby, S McGarry; F Durkan, M Forde, S Kelly; J McDonnell, D Coen, C O'Connor (Captain).

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