Conor Hayes believes there are more All-Ireland titles in Galway despite Micheál Donoghue’s untimely exit.
The two-time All-Ireland winning captain was speaking at Croke Park on Tuesday where he was inducted into the GAA Hall of Fame.
Speaking at the event, Hayes remarked that it was good to get rid of the tag-line that he was the last man to captain Galway to a Liam MacCarthy Cup.
After winning their first title in 29 years in 2017 before reaching the 2018 final, Galway were sensationally knocked out of this year’s championship by Dublin just one week after defeating eventual All-Ireland finalists Kilkenny.
Since that shock defeat, the county has found itself at the centre of a storm following Micheál Donoghue’s decision to step down as manager.
Hayes believes it’s a pity that Donoghue is now gone but there are still more All-Irelands in this Galway side.
“There was a certain amount of burn-out this year I think but they’re still there,” said Hayes.
“It’s important they get a good manager in and keep the thing going. It’s a pity Micheál Donoghue is gone because he was very good, very clinical and technical with the whole thing and kept a good panel together there. He won an All-Ireland and got them to another All-Ireland (final).
“I just feel there is another one in them. I still think they’re as good a team as what’s around really. They still have some marquee forwards, the likes of Conor Whelan, Joe Canning obviously as well. Good solidity there in the back-line as well, Daithi Burke is still there at full-back even though he’s playing football with Corofin at a very high level but he’s proven himself to be one of the best backs in the country.
“Right throughout the field Galway still have what it takes to win but it’s important they get a good manager and somebody who will gel the thing together and not split it up. There’s another couple of years left in these fellas. The tendency is for a new manager to come in and split it up but if they can keep the continuity there it would be great.”
With Davy Fitzgerald rumoured to have been scouted out by the Galway county board, Hayes isn’t sure if that would be realistic at this time.
The former All-Star believes the role should go to a Galway man but ideally, he would like to see Noel Larkin and Franny Forde be kept on as part of the set-up.
“There’s talks of Davy Fitz getting it. I don’t know if that’s realistic or not with his situation in Wexford,” said Hayes.
“I’d prefer if the likes of Noel Larkin and Franny Forde could keep it going and Damien Joyce with them as well to try and keep that continuity. I think it’s important the continuity is kept there for another couple of years and I think that would be important. Because I think there’s another couple of years left in these lads.”