Galway U-21 boss is no longer a slave to winning silverware

Galway U-21 football team manager Gerry Fahy.
Galway U-21 football team manager Gerry Fahy.

Talking Sport with Stephen Glennon

SOME people live in a black and white world but not Glinsk native and current Galway U-21 football manager Gerry Fahy. For sport and indeed life don’t always operate within those perimeters.

As a respected Gaelic football mentor and coach, his own viewpoint has matured over the years. Now, Fahy measures success on just how much his players, the team and the squad have improved – not simply by the ‘black and white’ premise of the silverware they may or may not win.

Fahy notes it is the same in life. As a Garda charged with working on a full-time basis with young offenders, the bigger picture is always observed. A young person makes a bad choice – maybe, even, a number of bad choices – but should that define and follow them for the rest of their lives?

He says having Gaelic football and sport in his life enables him to form a connection at times with those he tries to help. “I also find it keeps me, I hope, young mentally and that when you are dealing with young people, you like to think you are able to talk to them at their own level.

“You like to think you are able to help them because people make mistakes and it is a great system that we have that there is an opportunity there to learn from it and move on from it without it (their offence) impinging on them for the rest of their days.”

Fahy acknowledges his own sporting background – he has the distinction of playing minor football for Roscommon and U-21 for Galway – has been of great benefit in his line of work but outlines that not everyone he deals with has an interest in sport.

“However, for the people who are involved in sport, it can teach some wonderful standards of discipline and how to accept good days and bad days which, really, is a replicate of life.”

This Saturday at Tuam Stadium (3pm), Fahy and his management team of Tim Rabbitte (fitness), Tomas Mannion (defence coach), Barry Cullinane (midfield coach), Val Daly (forwards coach), Ciaran O Fatharta (selector) and goalkeeping coach Gay Mitchell will take charge of the Galway U-21s in their Connacht championship opener against Leitrim.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.