Cyril Farrell expressed his surprise at Micheal Donoghue's decision to step down as the Galway hurling manager on Wednesday's OTB AM.
Galway had a poor season this year, going out in the Leinster Championship after losing a crucial clash to Dublin in Parnell Park.
However, Micheal Donoghue had brought plenty of success to Galway in his four years in charge, including a first All-Ireland in 29 years.
Cyril Farrell, a former Galway manager himself, admitted that he was caught off-guard by yesterday's announcement that the Clarinbridge man would be vacating his role.
“In the hurling circles down here it’s a very big surprise. He’s a relaxed and very composed person. He’s very organised and on top of everything.
“There was no talk of him going or anything. I’d say it was quite a shock to the county board last night,” Farrell commented.
The Galway county board had shown no signs of unhappiness with Donoghue staying charge, despite the relatively poor season.
Farrell thought it was likely that external factors played a role in Donoghue’s departure.
“He collected an All Ireland. He also had a Leinster title and a League title - he was very successful.
“He would have a young family growing up and he would be very involved in business commitments as well.
The number of hours backroom teams in the GAA are expected to put in has been steadily increasing and Farrell reckons that time pressure could be behind his unexpected exit.
“The time element in it is getting bigger and bigger...It wouldn’t be just a snap decision.
“It’s a professional sport now played by amateurs. It’s complicated in that it takes up so much time. Especially for the management team. There’s no doubt about that,” Farrell commented.
The process will start anew for the Galway GAA board as they look to appoint a new hurling manager ahead of next season.
The county board will be hoping for a smooth transition between Donoghue and the new manager, much like when Donoghue himself took over from Anthony Cunningham and led the Tribesmen to All-Ireland glory.
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