Micheal Donoghue has decided to step down as manager of the Galway hurlers after four-years in charge.
In a surprising turn of events, the All-Ireland winning manager announced his decision on Galway Bay FM on Tuesday.
After what had been a difficult year for Galway's senior hurlers where their championship run came to an end at the provincial stages, it had nevertheless been expected that the Clarinbridge man would continue on for another season.
During a conversation with Off the Ball in late July, Donoghue offered no indication that this would be his last outing with the county.
Taking on the role in 2015, Micheal Donoghue's arrival came after a series of near misses for Galway.
Under Anthony Cunningham the county contested two All-Ireland finals (2012, 2015) where they were defeated by Kilkenny on both occasions.
In Micheal Donoghue's first year in charge the county came within one-point of reaching another final, losing to Tipperary at the semi-final stage.
However, Galway's time came the following year when Donoghue's men ousted Waterford to claim the county's first All-Ireland final success since 1988.
What will be remembered as a positive era for Galway hurling, attention will now swiftly turn toward establishing Micheal Donoghue's likely successor.
With Cork and Waterford both in the hunt for new management teams also, it will be a winter of change across the hurling landscape.
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