Anthony Cunningham is reportedly a front runner to become the new Westmeath football manager.
Cunningham is the early favourite to replace Tom Cribbin following the latter’s decision to walk away from the post having overseen the Lake County’s exit from the championship at the hands of Armagh last Saturday week, Hoganstand have reported.
The former Galway hurling boss has a vast experience in both codes. He had some success during his tenure with the Tribesmen which spanned from 2011 to 2015, leading them to Leinster championship glory in 2012 and All-Ireland finals in 2012 and 2015.
However, it was at the end of that 2015 season where affairs turned sour between Cunningham and Galway. A players revolt against the St. Thomas’ clubman remaining in charge to see out the final year of his term led to a bitter stand-off between the players and Cunningham. Eventually, a vote of no confidence led to the manager being ousted, bringing to an end what was an unsavoury saga.
The Galway native has also been linked with the Dublin senior hurling job, given that the inevitable departure of Ger Cunningham from that post is imminent following the shambles of a season that was 2017.
In terms of Gaelic football, Cunningham has enjoyed success at club level with Roscommon’s St Brigid’s and Westmeath’s Garrycastle. Under his reign, Brigid’s won back-to-back county championship titles in 2006 and 2007. In his time with Garrycastle, the Westmeath club won three consecutive county titles and went all the way to the All-Ireland club final of 2011, eventually losing out to Crossmaglen Rangers after a replay.
While it is yet to be revealed if Cunningham has a keen interest in the job, it is known that he has close ties with Westmeath GAA since his time with Garrycastle. He also works in Athlone.
Westmeath endured a mixed campaign in 2017, the lowlight being the demolition they suffered at the hands of Dublin in the Leinster SFC final. However, Cribbin leaves the position having guided the county to promotion to Division 3 for next year.
Make sure to check out the latest episode of The 16th Man podcast, where we hear from Cathal McCarron after Tyrone’s Ulster triumph, and chat to Shane McGrath ahead of Tipperary vs Clare.