Raymond Galligan and star studded backroom team a statement of intent from Cavan
Exciting times ahead for Cavan.
Cavan have appointed Raymond Galligan as manager, and brought in a star studded backroom team that will make the county very interesting to watch next season.
At just 36 years old and still playing some of his best football, captaining his county to Division Two last season and looking every bit as agile as any other goalkeeper out there, Galligan could easily have continued playing.
However, he clearly has the belief and ambition to take on the biggest job that any Gael can, and manage his own county at senior level.
Replacing Mickey Graham will not be an easy feat, as he guided the Breffeni county to their first Ulster title in over two decades, with Galligan of course captaining that team.
However, in some ways it makes perfect sense to make this appointment. The players loved and respected Graham, but he was there a long time, and even though they made back to back promotions in the National League, they also suffered back to back relegations.
No matter how good a manager is, the same voice in the dressing room can become a bit stale, and an injection of freshness is needed to shake things up.
The squad respect Galligan, they already see him as their leader, and have followed him into battle for years, so to appoint him as the new man in charge will galvanise many of the players.
For those who question his lack of experience, and undermine the importance of a young fresh voice, you only have to look at Vinny Corey's success with Monaghan last season.
Nobody knew much about Corey as a manager, and it wasn't that long ago that we were used to seeing him in a Monaghan jersey, lining out with many of the stars that he is now in charge of.
Corey was adventurous in his tactics, chopping and changing plans to suit the opposition, and ruthless in his selection, dropping legends like Conor McManus, if he felt he needed to.
Of course, having a fresh voice, new ideas and a decent inter-county career doesn't guarantee success, just as having a cabinet full of medals from days past does.
The star studded backroom team brought in to help Galligan will make up for any gaps in his CV and only enhance his strengths further.
Stevie O'Neill is set to become the forwards coach, one of the deadliest sharp shooters to ever lace up a pair of boots, he will have Cavan's attackers bursting with excitement to get back onto the training pitch.
O'Neill isn't just a big name attraction either and was part of Mickey Harte's coaching team in 2018 with Tyrone that reached the All-Ireland final, and his work with Cathal McShane in particular helped him become the championship's top scorer the following year.
The Red Hand legend also worked as a coach with Antrim under Enda McGinley, so he will undoubtedly bring this wealth of experience to the team.
Eamon Murray is also on the staff, the man who transformed and revolutionised the Meath's ladies team, leading them from obscurity to back to back All-Ireland titles.
Joining him is Catherina McKiernan as a 'Life Coach', while Damien Keaney, and Ronan Flanagan, also bolster the roster to help Galligan.
With such a mix of talent, youth and experience, all they need is cohesion and we could see Cavan really take their game to the next level in the coming years.
Young stars like Paddy Lynch are ripe to burst onto that next level, and become real stars in Gaelic football, he just needs the right guidance and platform to do so.
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