Cunningham focuses on youth

Anthony Cunningham, the new Galway senior hurling manager, has not been long in making his presence felt, as he and selectors Tom Helebert and Mattie Kenny have dropped one third of the team which started the All-Ireland quarter-final against Waterford this year in a massive clear-out.

A number of high profile city-based players, Ger Farragher, John Lee, Donal Barry, and Anonghus Callanan, have failed to make the cut.

Former captain Damien Joyce has also been dropped along with Shane Kavanagh who led the county to the National League title in 2009. Also out are Adrian Cullinane and attacker Joe Gantley.

There is a big focus on youth in the new panel.

Twenty members of the 2011 All-Ireland winning u-21 squad are selected in the new 37-man squad. Indeed, 14 players on the squad will be underage in 2012 for the u-21 competition.

Cunningham, who has stated that he and his management team will be looking to develop players and the squad over the next few years to try to compete with the top teams, was quick to acknowledge the contributions made by some of the experienced players who did not make this squad.

"Some of those players who are not included have given years of service to Galway hurling and we acknowledge that, but we think this is the best squad at the moment. It will change, some will come and go," he said.

"We will be monitoring club and college games, as well as the Galway development squad, and the squad will be revised again for the national league."

The club with the biggest representation in the new provisional panel is St Thomas with five players, while Gort have four. The new management will meet with the new squad this Saturday to outline individual fitness and strength programmes to be carried out over the coming months.

Galway panel for 2012: Bernard Burke, David Burke, Conor Cooney, James Regan, Donal Cooney (St Thomas ); Brian Regan, Aiden Harte, Jason Grealish, R Cummins (Gort ); Joe Canning, Andy Smith, Damien Hayes (Portumna ); Ger O’ Halloran, Jamie Ryan, Mark Horan (Craughwell ); David Collins, Tadhg Haran (Liam Mellows ); Johnny Coen, Paul Huban (Loughrea ); Fergal Flannery, Cyril Donnellan (Padraig Pearses ); Eanna Ryan, Declan Connolly (Killimordaly ); James Skehill (Cappataggle ); Fergal Moore (Turloughmore ); Niall Burke (Oranmore/Maree ); Mark Lydon (Maigh Cuilinn ); Barry Daly (Clarinbridge ); Tony Óg Regan (Rahoon/Newcastle ); Kevin Hynes (Sarsfields ); Davy Glennon (Mullagh ); Conor Burke (Athenry ); Brian Flaherty (Abbeyknockmoy ); Donal Fox (Carnmore ); Paul Gordon (Tynagh/Abbey/Duniry ); Niall Donoghue (Kilbeacanty ); Iarla Tannian (Ardrahan ).

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