GALWAY MANAGER MICHEAL Donoghue should know plenty about next Sunday’s Allianz Hurling League opponents Tipperary.
Tipp captain Brendan Maher has confirmed that Donoghue took some coaching sessions last year when Eamon O’Shea was in charge.
Donoghue was manager of the Clarinbridge team that won the AIB All-Ireland senior club title in 2011 and as a player, he was an All-Ireland U21 medallist in 1993.
Now Donoghue is in charge of the Galway hurlers as they look to get back to winning ways after successive defeats to Dublin and Kilkenny.
Next Sunday’s Salthill clash is a crucial fixture as both Tipp and Galway badly need the points on offer to cement a top four place outright in the table, while at the same time helping to stave off the threat of a relegation playoff.
And Maher has hailed Donoghue’s coaching skills as he prepares to lock horns with the Tribesmen.
“We would have got to know him fairly well. He’s a great fella, a great coach and I’m sure he’ll be telling them all he got to know about us as well coming to the game.
“But he’s a lovely man, he’s got a very good hurling brain and I really enjoyed working with him.
“He took a few sessions and he’s always be there talking to you around the dressing room or out on the pitch. I got on very well with him.”
Maher revealed that Donoghue, who worked with Tipp for two seasons, was involved more in a backroom capacity.
“He was probably more backroom I suppose,” Maher confirmed. “I don’t know how much input he had management-wise, we wouldn’t know.
“He used to do the odd drill in training and could take 20 minutes of a session where he’d work on something. In terms of that he had a bit of an input.”
And Maher spotted the intercounty managerial potential in Donoghue after working with him.
“Definitely. He probably would have been open enough about that, that he always had ambitions to be a manager and obviously with his record with Clarinbridge as well, he had aspirations of doing it.
“I wish him the best up there. Just the fact that he’s after taking over Galway now doesn’t change my opinion of him. I got on very well with him and I respect him as a coach.”
Brendan Maher will feature on The Toughest Trade, which airs on RTE2 this evening at 9.55pm.
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