New Galway Ladies Football boss Gerry Fahy is excited about the potential that exists in the panel.
Last week Fahy, who was involved in a coaching capacity in 2021, succeeded Timmy Rabbitt as the manager and is adamant that Galway can continue to make progress.
“I'd like to acknowledge my predecessor, Timmy Rabbitt, and all of the great work he did over the last number of years with his management team,” Fahy says about his Oranmore-Maree colleague. “He definitely raised the standards and hopefully we will now be able to carry on in that vein. Definitely with my experience being involved I think there is great potential with everyone onboard.”
In recent years several emerging players have graduated into the Galway set-up with Fahy adamant that further development can take place.
“I think so, I know they were very disappointed to lose the All Ireland two years ago,” Fahy responds.
“Then unfortunately 2020 didn't just quite end up the way we wanted it to. They still gained the experience of playing at that level, and I think that will stand to them going forward.
“To be honest the thing that really stands out is the commitment of the players.
“I'd say you had almost 100 per cent attendance at training all of the time. When they play, they really go at it, giving their best at all times. That is the most encouraging aspect and would entice me to be involved with them.”
Fahy’s brother, PJ, guided Galway to All Ireland glory in 2004 so a strong family link continues.
“It is nice to get back and it is time to shut him up because I have been listening to him since 2004,” Fahy laughs.
“I don't have that title in my hand so maybe I will get a chance to put that record straight."
A similar blend of youth and experience means comparisons can be drawn with the 2004 crop according to Fahy, who is thrilled to have Annette Clarke as a selector.
"In fairness I remember following that team and it is great we have Annette as a link from that team," Fahy adds. She was the captain, and I think she will bring a huge, huge value to the group too.
“I was talking to PJ the other day, he was remarking about how Niamh Fahey came in when she was quite young. They had some of the minor and under 16 teams in the previous few years so there was a nice mix which gelled in nicely. Obviously they had a good backroom team too, I remember John O'Connell and Richie Bowles being very prominent too.
"Everything gelled for them, they played some attractive football, and won a great final.”
Fahy has stitched a strong backroom together featuring Clarke, Kieran Collins, Maghnus Breathnach, David Mannion, Declan Burke, John Reddington, and Brian Rodgers.
“I think that is the key thing about the coaching, that is our job realistically,” Fahy says about the importance of nurturing talent.
“It is to look at players, on an individual basis and then as a group, to see what areas need to be identified to improve. We have to come up with solutions and then to carry them out. Declan, Kieran, Annette, David Mannion, who will be looking after the fitness, Maghnus and Brian. Everyone will be playing a part.”
The pride associated with managing a Galway outfit is not lost on Fahy. “Absolutely not, it is a tremendous honour and I'm delighted to have it,” Fahy replies.
“I will take it seriously, I know the players are putting their careers in our hands, we will take that very responsibly.
"We will do our utmost to do everything we can to make them the best they can be. I'd like to appeal to everyone in Galway, no more than my counterparts in hurling, camogie, and Gaelic Football.
“They are a Galway team, they are really going to commit themselves, and I'd like everyone to get behind them, to give them as much support as possible.”