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‘It really is a strange one’ – Galway still on hunt for new manager two weeks out from league

THE GALWAY SENIOR ladies football team are without a manager less than two weeks out from the National League.

Last Thursday, news of Gerry Fahy’s departure broke locally.

Galway Bay FM reported that the boss had stepped down with immediate effect, after just one season in charge.

They ran a statement from Galway LGFA, which read: “It is with regret that Galway Ladies Football County Board announce that Gerry Fahy has stepped away from his role as senior inter-county manager with immediate effect.

“Gerry has cited questions that were raised that he and his management team were unfortunately unable to resolve and in the interest of Galway ladies football the management team stepped aside.

“Gerry wishes the players and new management every good fortune for the 2022 season and Galway Board officials will now begin the process of appointing a new management team.

“The Galway County Board also wishes to thank Gerry and his management team for their time, commitment and dedication to Galway Ladies Football and wish him well going forward.”

The42 contacted Galway county board for an update on Tuesday, though there had been no change. It is understood that the new management team will likely be finalised this week, and the squad continues to train as normal.

Experienced coach Fahy, the former Galway U21 manager, took the reins last January, succeeding Tim Rabbitt in the hot-seat. Fahy had been part of Rabbitt’s backroom team in 2020 as Galway reached the All-Ireland semi-final, while they were Division 1 league and championship runners-up in 2019.

Gerry Fahy on the line last summer.

Source: Brendan Moran/SPORTSFILE

In 2021, Galway failed to reach the league semi-final stages, while they bowed out of the All-Ireland race after a four-point quarter-final defeat at the hands of Mayo. 

Galway have had plenty of talent and potential in their ranks, and big names on show over the past few years like Nicola and Louise Ward, who helped Kilkerrin-Clonberne to historic All-Ireland glory on Saturday, Tracey and Roisin Leonard, Megan Glynn, Olivia Divilly, Mairéad Seoighe, Áine McDonagh, and Ailbhe Davoren.

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Galway ladies football legend Annette Clarke served as a selector under Fahy, having captained them to their first, and last, All-Ireland crown in 2004 (Fahy’s brother, PJ, was manager then). A long-serving stalwart for her club Kilkerrin-Clonberne, Clarke came on as a second-half substitute as they dethroned Mourneabbey at the weekend.

Kieran Collins, another successful underage manager for the county, also acted as a selector, with Maghnus Breathnach the goalkeeping coach and Declan Burke the fitness coach.

The timing of the situation is worrying, given the Lidl Ladies National Football Leagues kick off on the weekend of 12/13/14 February, with Galway due to kick off against Donegal under Friday Night Lights in Ballybofey and live on TG4. Mayo and Westmeath also join them in Division 1A.

"You'd imagine people would have sat down & had this conversation a long time ago"

THE THIRD HALF 31/1/22@DazK1978 & @NKindlon on Gerry Fahy's departure at @GalwayLgfa

Plus @KClgfa vs @MourneabbeyLFC

SportsDazhttps://t.co/14NzW0ia0y@LadiesFootball #LGFA #SportsDaz pic.twitter.com/FYFxLYrgZr

— SportsDaz (@SportsDaz) January 31, 2022

Former Monaghan star Niamh Kindlon joined Darren Kelly on SportsDaz’s The Third Half podcast yesterday, with both questioning the timing of Fahy’s departure.

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“He’s no stranger to Galway ladies football, and obviously was a selector with Tim Rabbitt the previous two years,” Kindlon noted.

“The transition seemed quite seamless then for Gerry to come in and take the role as manager in 2021, and you’d imagine he’d have be staying on in the job.

“As we said, [it was] a disappointing year in 2021 and obviously losing to Mayo in that quarter-final would have been a big blow to them, but that’s so long ago. Is it issues coming out of it, or is it something new that’s come up? It really is a strange one.

“I know part of his management team would have been Kieran Collins and Annette Clarke and they hadn’t got back involved this year with family reasons and stuff.

“I don’t know who else he had already brought in to replace them, but still, it is an awful shame and it’s a big task for the Galway county board to try and source a new manager.” 

– updated 14.39 Wednesday.

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