"It was like losing part of your family" - Anthony Cunningham addresses the hurt he felt following Galway resignation

Anthony Cunningham, Diarmuid Lyng and Jason Ryan joined Ger in studio for the Saturday Panel

"It was like losing part of your family" - Anthony Cunningham addresses the hurt he felt following Galway resignation

©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Last year, the former Galway hurling boss Anthony Cunningham, departed from the post in desolation after it materialised that the squad had lost confidence in their manager.

Following a seven week struggle, encompassing a vote of no confidence in the manager and a series of meetings which did not produce a resolution to the impasse, the St Thomas clubman penned a resignation letter. In it, Cunningham called the players' revolt 'a kangeroo court decision.' 

"I believe that the players are misguided in that they are not taking the view of their county on board. They, through their actions, have shown scant respect for, and loyalty to the goodwill shown to them by supporters, clubs and the county GAA committees and Management."

"I contend that it is unreasonable to express a lack of confidence in management - how else could we have reached a winning position in an All-Ireland final last September."

As the provincial championships find their stride this season, Cunningham discussed his experience during that period of hostility on the Off The Ball Saturday Panel.

He said:

"I've moved on from it and I've said what I've said. It was like losing part of your family. You brought a lot of lads through college and persevered with a lot of young players last year and they'd come through and done extremely well. It was disappointing we didn't finish the job but you pick up the pieces and move on. I was disappointed and quite hurt."

"There was many different angles. There were no problems while I was there for the three years and there was huge positivity among the players so I was surprised."

Cunningham, who guided Galway to two All-Ireland appearances in three seasons, added that he has since taken up a coaching position with Laois and beamed about his irrepressible love for management despite the wounds he inherited from the fallout last year.

"You couldn't or wouldn't do it unless you revel in it. Thankfully, I got the opportunity and maybe I'll get the opportunity again. It's great working with players. You see guys developing physically and it's a massive learning environment."