Liam Sammon owes Galway football nothing. That fact is crystal clear. On the contrary, he has given the county wonderful commitment and service over the past 40 years in various different roles, and hopefully he will continue to do so for another decade in a coaching capacity.
Notwithstanding that fact, he made the correct and selfless decision last week in deciding to step down from his position as Galway senior manager.
2008 was a success and collecting a Connacht title is not something that should ever be sniffed at, but the last few months have not been productive or engendered much optimism for 2010.
The league defeat to Mayo and the trouncing at the hands of Kerry in the league, coupled with poor performances against Mayo and Donegal in the championship, did ask some genuine and reasonable questions about where we were going. And then seeing Donegal being mauled by Cork in the All-Ireland quarter-finals confirmed how far we have slipped back in the national rankings.
Becoming an inter-county manager is a gigantic undertaking and you need a serious and very professional backroom team backing up the manager. The time, commitment, and effort to do the job at the levels that the likes of Tyrone and Kerry are doing is enormous. And right now Galway need a manager to implement a three to five-year strategic plan. A quick-fix solution will not work.
Championship results over the past eight years would confirm that we are not in the top 10 teams in the country, and whoever the county board selects over the next few weeks as the new manager will have a tough job on his hands.
Galway supporters will have to be patient and it will probably take a few years before we get back into the top tier at inter-county level.
There have been more names bandied about for the role than confetti at a wedding and some of them are off the wall suggestions. I would include myself in that category. I have not even managed a club team at senior level as of yet, never mind a county team, still paper never refuses ink.
With a very young and growing family and a lot of work commitments I would have no interest in managing any county team at this juncture. Please God when the children are a little older and I have a little bit more “me time” I will get more involved in coaching and managing.
However for now I am much happier teaching in St Jarlath’s in Tuam, and doing my column for the Advertiser group than taking on a job that would require a time commitment that easily runs in excess of 30 hours a week. Divorce does not come cheap you know.