Former All-Ireland winning coach Eamon O’Shea is back in inter-county management but his new role will be a lot less demanding than when he was guiding his native Tipperary to a couple of All-Ireland titles.
O’Shea is going to take charge of a Galway development squad largely made up of junior players to play in a Connacht league in January which will also include a team from New York and Longford.
Mayo, Roscommon, Leitrim and Sligo, all of whom have made progress in the Lory Meagher, Nickey Rackard and Christy Ring cups in recent years, will also participate.
The competition will be run off on three days on January 2, 4 and 7 at the indoor Connacht dome in Bekan in Co Mayo, with the New York side coming to Ireland for a week including several homegrown players.
Galway GAA chairman Paul Bellew said that getting O’Shea, who lives in Salthill in Galway, to take charge of their team is a big boost.
“It adds a lot to our team taking part and also to the competition as well to have someone like Eamon O’Shea involved. We are very grateful to him and I’m sure the players will learn a lot from him,” said Bellew.
O’Shea, a key member of Liam Sheedy’s management team in the Liam MacCarthy wins in 2010 and 2019 and who guided Tipperary to Munster glory in 2015 when he was manager, will be selecting players from mainly junior clubs.
Earlier this year his own son Donal became the first member of the Salthill/Knocknacarra hurling team, which has always operated at junior level, to play senior hurling for Galway and the former All-Ireland minor winner will be hoping to push on for Henry Shefflin’s side next season having been included in the championship squad last summer.