Walsh looking to bring ‘great days’ back to Galway

Gregory McGonigle: His side suffered a heartbreaking defeat to Cork in last Sunday's final.

New Galway football manager Kevin Walsh says he will search the county for new talent and that prospective players will not be ruled out because of age or the standard of club football they play.

Walsh takes over from Alan Mulholland and has been given three years in charge, having been a key member of Galway teams which captured All-Ireland titles in 1998 and 2001.

Mayo’s dominance in recent years has left Galway without a Connacht title since 2008.

Indeed, Walsh masterminded the last defeat of Mayo in Connacht, when his Sligo side defeated them in 2010.

Now he will hope to guide his native county to glory and the former All-Star said he is looking forward to the challenge, after five years in charge of Sligo.

“I had some great days as a Galway player and hope to have some great days as well as manager.

“I’m honoured to be given the job and want to thank the clubs and officers to give me the opportunity and I will give it everything I can to do a good job.

“All I want is that Galway will perform every time we go out and we will see where that takes us,” said the Killanin club man, who became the first manager to guide Sligo to two Connacht finals and also their first ever win on Galway soil in the Championship, when they triumphed two years ago at Pearse Stadium.

Walsh, who led Sligo to a first All-Ireland junior title since 1935 four years ago, said they uncovered some excellent talent in the intermediate and junior grades in Sligo and intends to carry out a widespread search in Galway.

“We will be looking at everyone in the county. Nobody is going to be ruled out because of age or whether their club is senior or junior.

“I’m fortunate to have two good men in Brian Silke and Sean Conlon coming on board with me who have a great knowledge of football across the county. We will be looking at all players,” added Walsh.

Meanwhile Dublin ladies’ football manager Gregory McGonigle says his future is unclear despite his feat in leading his team to Sunday’s All-Ireland senior final against Cork, where they lost by just a point, in heartbreaking circumstances.

The former Monaghan ladies’ team boss was handed a two- year term last February after taking over at the Dublin helm from Pat Gilheaney.

But McGonigle still says it’s still not certain he will managing the Dublin side in next year’s league and Championship campaigns.

“Admittedly, myself and the rest of the management term were given a two-year term, but there was a condition that the term would be reviewed after the first 12 months,” explained the Derry native, who also steered Monaghan to the 2011 and 2013 All-Ireland ladies’ senior finals, where they also lost to Cork.

“So the team management will be meeting up with the county board sometime in the near future to discuss the events of 2013 and to make a decision on whether the same team management will be staying on for next year.

“And prior to meeting up with the county board, myself and the rest of the team management will have a meeting among ourselves to review how things went for the team in this year’s league and Championship.”

A run to an All-Ireland senior final would normally be deemed a very favourable year by the vast majority of team managers. But understandably the fact his charges failed to maintain a 10-point lead early in the second half against Cork substantially is in McGonigle’s thoughts.

“There were a lot of positives about the past year for the team,” remarked McGonigle. “We won the All-Ireland under-21 title and, of course, we were pleased to get to the All-Ireland senior final. But that doesn’t take away from the very deep disappointment of losing the game against Cork — and despite being in a very favourable position early in the second half.”


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