Selectors not committing convinced Alan Mulholland to quit

Kevin Walsh favourite to take over as Galway football manager

 Alan Mulholland (centre) stepped down as Galway senior football team manager after   Paul Clancy (left) and Derek Savage revealed they would not be continuing as selectors next season. Photograph: Mike Shaughnessy/Inpho

Alan Mulholland (centre) stepped down as Galway senior football team manager after Paul Clancy (left) and Derek Savage revealed they would not be continuing as selectors next season. Photograph: Mike Shaughnessy/Inpho

Fri, Aug 22, 2014, 01:00

Selectors Declan Meehan and Paul Clancy’s decision not to commit for another season was a key factor in Alan Mulholland stepping down as Galway manager yesterday.

Mulholland had been pondering his future after the All-Ireland SFC quarter-final elimination by Kerry and the Salthill/Knocknacarra clubman decided to go rather than try to build another management team.

Former All-Ireland winners Meehan, who is based in Tullamore, and Clancy have young families and busy jobs, which Mulholland could more than empathise with after years of juggling inter-county management with the demands of a young family and running the family bookmaking business.

“It’s a tough decision. On one hand you want to stay on because you believe there is a breakthrough just around the corner and progress has been made, but the reality is it places huge demands on family and work and I know the impact it had for Declan and Paul this year,” Mulholland said.

“I’m happy that I’m leaving it in a reasonably healthy state and a lot of young players have come through. I have enjoyed it immensely, I really have, but it is time for someone else to take up the running and I wish them the best of luck and I will support them in any way I can.”

Guided

The former Galway defender, who won three Connacht titles but retired a year before John O’Mahony came in and guided them to the 1998 All-Ireland, had indicated to the county football committee he would step aside when losses in their opening three league games left them in real danger of being relegated to Division Three, but he was asked to stay on and helped the county to avoid the drop, reach their first Connacht final in five years and their first All-Ireland quarter-final in six before they bowed out to Kerry.

Former team-mate Kevin Walsh is the favourite to take over. He stepped down a year ago as Sligo manager after five seasons and is currently managing Micheál Breathnach’s who, ironically, take on Mulholland’s Salthill/Knocknacarra in a preliminary Galway SFC quarter-final on Sunday.

Galway county committee chairman Noel Treacy, who paid tribute to the work carried out by Mulholland in developing so many players over the past decade, at senior and underage level, said there was a strong desire to appoint a Galway man to the job.

“We had success with John O’Mahony but we feel we should have a Galway man in charge. Alan has left Galway football in a good place and for that we are grateful and the ideal scenario now is for another good Galway man to come along and build on that hard work.

“There are plenty of capable managers in the county to do just that and we will be going through a process to find the best candidate,” added Treacy.

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