Bergin calls time on county career as Donnellan is new minor bossOctober 26, 2012 - 7:00am
ONE of Galway’s most loyal footballing servants of the past 15 years – Mountbellew-Moylough’s Joe Bergin – has this week announced his retirement from inter-county football.
A busy work schedule, injury problems, Galway’s disappointing form of recent seasons and a desire to concentrate on playing for his club, are understood to have been the reasons for the 31-year-old to call time on his inter-county career.
The midfielder and forward has been a regular in a Galway jersey since the mid-1990s when he started out with the Ted Webb under-16 team, before moving up through the ranks of minor, under-21, and senior as a 19-year-old in 2000.
Although Galway might have gone through lean times at senior level over recent years, Bergin did enjoy considerable success with the county early in his career.
After enduring the disappointment of an All-Ireland final replay defeat to Kerry in 2000, he then played a key role in Galway’s 2001 success, when they beat Meath in the All-Ireland final by 0-17 to 0-8, to win their ninth title.
The Mountbellew man then captained Galway to All-Ireland under-21 success in 2002, when they beat Dublin in the final – two years previously he had been selected as Young Footballer of the Year.
Always noted for this loyalty to the Mountbellew-Moylough club, his concentration on the local football scene will give him the opportunity to realise one of his remaining ambitions in the game, namely to win a county title with his club.
Meanwhile, on the inter-county scene for 2013, senior manager, Alan Mulholland, will also be taking charge of the county’s under-21s next year.
Initially it had been envisaged that last year’s under-21 manager, Gerry Fahy, would again take the reins of the under-age side, but issues arose over who would have ‘first call’ on the overlapping players, most notably Thomas Flynn (Athenry), Fionntáin O Curraoin (Ml. Breathnach) and Peadar Óg O Griofa (Ml. Breathnach).
Fahy then withdrew from the position of under-21 manager, and the Board have subsequently sanctioned the appointment of Mulholland as U-21 supremo. Galway meet Sligo in a preliminary round of the Connacht championship next March.
Mulholland will have the same backroom team at senior level for the coming season – selectors Alan Flynn and Donal Ó Fatharta with Niall O’Toole training the side – but it does seem likely that he will draft in at least one other selector to help him with the under-21 set-up.
For more, read this week's Galway City Tribune.