Galway supporters think it’s a done deal that Shefflin will cut his losses

Inside Track with John McIntyre

SINCE Galway’s exit to Dublin in the hurling championship, nobody seems to be wondering will Henry Shefflin by staying on as team manager. Instead, the overwhelming focus appears to be on who will succeed him on the Tribesmen’s sideline.

It’s almost as if Shefflin’s departure after three years in charge is a done deal – at least in the minds of the fans – which would make for a difficult environment for the Kilkenny legend to operate in if he decided in conjunction with Galway GAA officials to extend his reign.

There is no doubt that Shefflin has failed to transform Galway’s fortunes after a relatively promising first season at the helm, and only for his legendary exploits in the black and amber jersey, there wouldn’t even be a debate about the Ballyhale clubman staying in charge. His P45 would already have been served based on results.

There is always fallout from an unexpected championship exit and we saw that last week with the public spat – on different podcasts – between ex-county player Aidan Harte and former Galway under-age manager Geoffrey Lynskey, who needlessly questioned the value of having one-time Irish rugby head coach Eddie O’Sullivan on the selection panel to find a successor to Shane O’Neill.

There is widespread disillusionment about the current state of Galway hurling, but are things as bad as some observers proclaim? It’s reasonable to assume that the U-20s would have advanced further in the championship only for missing key players in Aaron Niland, Darren Shaughnessy and Micheál Power in their exit to Dublin, while the minors are getting ready for an All-Ireland semi-final against Tipperary.

Sure, the seniors were largely a letdown but the absence of injured players Kevin Cooney, Brian Concannon and Darren Morrissey was no help, while Cathal Mannion’s campaign was seriously restricted by hamstring trouble. And it’s also fair to argue that only for David Burke’s harsh red card last Sunday week, Galway would now be getting ready for another Leinster Final battle with Kilkenny.

Pictured: Galway’s Ciaran O’Donnell and John O’Sullivan battling for possession with Kildare’s Evan Boyle in the All-Ireland Minor Football Tier 2 Preliminary Quarter-Final at Pearse Stadium on Saturday. Photo: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

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