Boston exhibition game unlikely to be affected by Galway boss stand-off

Galway’s Super 11s exhibition game against Dublin in Boston next month is unlikely to be affected by their ongoing stand-off with manager Anthony Cunningham.

As hurling officials met again last night, the game in Fenway Park is not understood to be in jeopardy despite the acrimony in the county.

On November 22 as part of an Irish festival, Galway are set to face Dublin in the variation of hurling where only goals count.

The game takes place as part of the city’s Irish festival and a day after Boston College face Notre Dame at the same venue, home of the Boston Red Sox baseball team.

Ticket sales for the Super 11s game are going well with over 10,000 having been sold by the middle of last month. Fenway Park’s capacity stands at just shy of 38,000.

Croke Park have given the counties special dispensation to play as it falls before they are permitted to return to collective training in December.

However, there is a question about just how many Galway players will attend next month’s All-Stars awards ceremony. The November 6 event in Dublin’s National Conference Centre clashes with David Collins’ wedding.

As Kilkenny have won the last two All-Irelands, in normal circumstances the manager of the current year’s All-Ireland runners-up would be invited to take charge of one of the All-Star teams in the exhibition game during December’s tour in Austin, Texas. But with a number of this year’s panel expected to be selected among this year’s best 15 that may not now be on the cards.

Already it appears several Tipperary players from last year’s honoured team will be unlikely to make the trip to the US as it clashes with midfielder Shane McGrath’s wedding. Like Collins, Tipperary defender Conor O’Brien is also set to tie the knot on the day of this year’s All-Stars gala.

Meanwhile, Eamonn Fitzmaurice has replaced Cian O’Neill with Padraig Corcoran as trainer/selector and added former Kerry All-Ireland-winning captain Liam Hassett to his team of selectors.

Just over a week after O’Neill left the set-up to succeed Jason Ryan as Kildare manager, Dingle man Corcoran has been part of Fitzmaurice’s backroom team as a strength and conditioning and rehab coach and makes the step-up having trained the Kerry minor team in 2010 and ‘11.

Corcoran incidentally owns the Muiris Dans pub in Dingle along with Tommy Griffin, who assisted Fitzmaurice in guiding Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne to a Hogan Cup last year before Griffin led them to the same success this year.

Hassett, 40, won two of his three All-Ireland titles playing alongside Fitzmaurice and has recently been managing his club Laune Rangers.

The deputy principal at St Michael’s College, Listowel joins Corcoran, Diarmuid Murphy and Mikey Sheehy. Former goalkeeper Murphy will be involved for a sixth successive season with the Kerry seniors having joined Jack O’Connor’s management team in 2011. Sheehy goes into his fourth year as a selector under Fitzmaurice.

Elsewhere, Kevin McManamon could miss the early part of the 2016 season as he is set to undergo necessary shoulder surgery.

The St Jude’s man, 29 in December, is set to line out for his club against Na Fianna in a county quarter-final next Sunday.


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