‘There’s talks of Davy Fitz getting it’ – Ex-Tribe captain wants Donoghue successor to come from within

CONOR HAYES DOESN’T think Davy Fitzgerald is the man to take Galway forward and instead wants the county board to appoint a Tribe native to replace Micheál Donoghue. 

Fitzgerald has yet to make a call on his future with Wexford and has been heavily linked to 2017 All-Ireland champions since Donoghue’s surprise departure last month. 

The Clare man worked with Joe Canning at Limerick IT and is understood to be still considering his future after he led Wexford to the Leinster title this summer. 

Former All-Ireland winning minor boss Jeffrey Lynskey is among the favourites for the job, while Anthony Daly and Eamon O’Shea have also been linked with the role. Galway chairman Pat Kearney plans to have a successor in place by October.

But Hayes, who captained Galway to All-Ireland crowns in 1987 and 1988, wants to see some continuity and several of Donoghue’s backroom team retained in the set-up.

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“There’s talks of Davy Fitz getting it,” said Hayes. “I don’t know if that’s realistic or not with his situation in Wexford.

“Probably within the county they may just keep continuity as well with some of the lads that were with Micheál Donoghue and try keep the likes of Noel Larkin, Franny Forde now they’re very experienced at this stage.

“I’d prefer if the likes of Noel Larkin and Franny Forde could keep it going and Damien Joyce with them as well to try and keep that continuity. I think it’s important the continuity is kept there for another couple of years and I think that would be important.

“Because I think there’s another couple of years left in these lads and then there will be a few of them shoving over 30,31, 32 or whatever it is and maybe we’ll be pushing on at that stage you know. I think it is important for continuity in Galway whoever takes over.

“It’s important to get somebody at a high level. The lads that are there though are very experienced. Franny Forde and Noel Larkin are very experienced now and they’ve been at the coalface now for the last three years, three or four years, whatever.

“And I still think they’d have enough. Management now, it’s a big team behind you. You have coaches, strength and conditioning, nutrition, the whole lot, psychology, the whole lot it’s very important. If that’s brought through as well and that’s kept going.

“You know, there’s a tendency with a new manager to come in and as I say, bring in a different team. That can take a while then to gel into the players as well, especially for the likes of Galway.

“Had they lost or been beaten in the last two All-Irelands you’d be saying: ‘OK, maybe it’s time to clean things out’. But I don’t think so, I still think it’s an important position at this stage.”

2019 Hall of Fame inductees Nicky English, Conor Hayes and Terence ‘Sambo’ McNaughton at the GAA Museum.

Source: David Fitzgerald/SPORTSFILE

Hayes, who was inducted into the GAA’s Hall of Fame on Tuesday, was disappointed to see Donoghue leave but feels the current crop are still good enough to contend over the coming years. 

“It’s important they get a good manager in and keep the thing going. It’s a pity Micheál Donoghue is gone because he was very good, very clinical and technical with the whole thing and kept a good panel together there.

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“He won an All-Ireland and got them to another All-Ireland. I just feel there is another one in them. I still think they’re as good a team as what’s around really. They still have some marquee forwards, the likes of Conor Whelan, Joe Canning obviously as well. Good solidity there in the back line as well.

“Right throughout the field Galway still have what it takes to win but it’s important they get a good manager and somebody who will gel the thing together and not split it up. There’s another couple of years left in these fellas. The tendency is for a new manager to come in and split it up but if they can keep the continuity there it would be great. 

“There’s a few lads alright that needed a rest this year, they had been going…Like if you look at it they’d been in the final in ’12 a lot of those lads, and ’15, ’17 and ’18. 

“So it does take its toll and injuries do catch up. The 2018 run in fairness was exceptional really. Two drawn games in a very, very hot summer and that probably did burn them out a bit I’d say.”

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