THE GALWAY SENIOR ladies football team remain without an official manager, just a few days out from opening their Division 1 National League campaign.
Although still out of the loop due to her club commitments with recent All-Ireland champions Kilkerrin-Clonberne, star Tribe defender Nicola Ward told The42 that the situation is “very disappointing”.
Gerry Fahy stepped down from the role two weeks ago after just one season in charge.
A Galway LGFA statement, released through Galway Bay FM, revealed that Fahy “cited questions that were raised that he and his management team were unfortunately unable to resolve and in the interest of Galway ladies football, the management team stepped aside.”
The process of appointing a new management team began thereafter, though no update was available when The42 last contacted Galway county board.
- ‘It really is a strange one’ – Galway still on hunt for new manager two weeks out from league
It’s understood that the squad continue to train as normal ahead of their 2022 Lidl Ladies National Football League opener against Donegal in Ballybofey on Saturday [throw-in 7.30pm, live on TG4], with some of the previous management team remaining in situ.
Ward confirmed as much at yesterday’s league launch in Newbridge.
“I suppose we weren’t there when everything happened,” she said. “We had been onto Gerry before club and during it, and he was very good to us to give us the time to focus on the club. We completely isolated ourselves to the club.
“It was obviously very disappointing to hear about the news. But Maghnus Breathnach and Fionna Wynne and David Mannion are all still there, there’s no new manager as such but they’re the ones that are taking training and trying to manage it as best as they can.
“Obviously it’s extremely disappointing when the league is starting this weekend, but that’s the situation for now. I think the county board are trying to source a new manager if they can.”
That there is such uncertainty and question marks over the set-up just a few days out from a return to competitive action is likely the main area of concern, regardless of the circumstances around Fahy’s departure.
Nicola Ward (right) and Emer Gallagher at yesterday’s Lidl Ladies National Football Leagues launch.
Source: Brendan Moran/SPORTSFILE
“It is disappointing. Myself and the Kilkerrin-Clonberne girls don’t really know [the ins and outs] either because [we’re out of the loop]. We’re taking a few weeks off and once we get back in, we’ll be fully committed to the cause.
“As I said, it is disappointing but they have to kind of move on and get ready for the matches because they are coming thick and fast. Hopefully come championship, there might be a better structure in place.”
While Ward and her clubmates, which include sister Louise and Olivia and Siobhán Divilly, take time to reset, the 2019 All-Star has not been in regular contact with her inter-county colleagues.
As a result, she’s unsure how they’re feeling ahead of the Donegal clash.
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“I’ve only been talking to a few of them wishing us luck and congratulating us,” she explains. “I want to isolate myself from Galway for the minute, just to take that time out, completely relax from it, recharge and go again.
“I suppose they just have to go out and play the game when it comes to it.”
That, they will, with an exciting 2022 ahead and motivation aplenty in all quarters after Meath’s historic All-Ireland win and denial of Dublin’s perfect five-in-a-row.
“A lot of teams aren’t far off,” Ward concludes. “You can’t but take massive inspiration from Meath and what they did for ladies football.
“I think a lot of teams will be fairly close this year, and we’ll see that in the next few weeks through the league in who’s going to show their best side. I’m looking forward to watching the games for the first few weeks.”