GALWAY LADIES FOOTBALL manager Tim Rabbitt is stepping down after two years at the helm.

In a statement issued to Galway Bay FM this afternoon, Rabbitt confirmed that he would not be putting his name forward again in 2021, saying that he feels “now is the time for a change” — before confirming the news to The42.

Rabbitt worked as a coach in the set-up under Stephen Glennon in 2018 before taking over as manager the following year. In 2019, he led the Tribe to a Connacht title, the Division 1 National League final and to their first All-Ireland decider appearance in 14 years. They were beaten by Cork and Dublin respectively.

In the Covid-19-impacted 2020 season, Galway were joint-top of Division 1 with Cork before the competition was cancelled, while they enjoyed one-point championship wins over Tipperary and Monaghan before bowing out to the Rebels in the All-Ireland semi-final.

Controversy reigned after that last four battle following a late venue change, with Rabbitt was prominent in the media. While referring to it in his lengthy parting statement, he referred to it as “disappointing” and a “dark cloud.”

The beginning of the statement, in which he thanks everyone involved in great detail, reads:

“I wish to confirm to the players and the Galway LGFA county board that I will not be putting my name forward for the position of manager of the Galway Senior Ladies football for the coming season.

Having completed three years with this squad, one as coach and two as manager, I feel now is the time for a change. Although my time as manager ends on a disappointing note with this year’s semi-final defeat and the events that preceded it, I will not let the dark cloud that hangs over that day, to take away from the many enjoyable days we experienced together over the past three years.

“I want to say that I felt honoured and privileged to be involved with this group of players, management and county board officials.

“I feel that we are very fortunate in Galway to have the high quality of people and players currently representing our county at senior inter-county level and I can testify to the commitment and dedication that this group of players have shown over the last number of years to ensuring that Galway are competing for All-Ireland honours.

The Galway team before the 2019 final.

Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

“The next step for this group of players is an important one. I dearly hope if the will is there, from the players, to come together again, with a renewed drive to reaffirm their commitment to bringing this group to the next level, then I have no doubt it can be achieved. It is clear there is still much work to do and I am sorry I will not be part of the next step on the journey but unfortunately I feel I have done all I can and believe a change of vision and voice is required to assist the players achieve their goals.”

Galway ladies football also released a statement via Galway Bay FM. It reads:

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“Galway Ladies County Board wish to acknowledge Tim Rabitt’s decision not to put his name forward as Manager for another term with the Galway Senior ladies.

Tim has given three years to Galway ladies the latter two as manager. This role comes with huge personal demands and sacrifices. Tim has served Galway Ladies Football with the utmost of commitment, dedication and integrity. At all times his players and their welfare were his priority.

“The county board wish to sincerely thank Tim for his professionalism in managing this team. He brought players to a new level and has assisted them in progressing and performing at this higher level.

“Most importantly, he at all times encouraged players to believe in their ability and talents and to always strive to be the best they can be. He has passed on not just football skills but life lessons in leadership, teamwork and accountability. We are indebted to Tim and indeed to all his mentors who have vested so much of themselves in our senior team.”

At tonight’s AGM the ratifications of a number of County Managers positions were appointed.

Maxi Curran will be back as County Senior Ladies Manager for the 2021 season.

Liam Skelly has been appointed as the County U16 Manager on two year term. @LadiesFootball @UlsterLadies

— Donegal LGFA (@DonegalLGFA) December 29, 2020

In other ladies football managerial news, Donegal boss Maxi Curran is staying at the helm after his reappointment was confirmed at last week’s AGM. This comes as the former Donegal football coach’s — he worked under Jim McGuinness — fourth year in charge, having led the county to three Ulster crowns in-a-row.

Last night, Sligo LGFA confirmed that renowned Yeats coach and 2012 U21-winning Connacht manager Anthony Brennan will take charge of the intermediate side for 2021.

All-Ireland winning Tyrone ladies boss Gerry Moane has taken the reins in Cavan after James Daly’s recent departure, with Kevin Mc Crystal returning for a second term as Red Hand boss.

A reduced league competition is expected in a revamped 2020 inter-county season. It’s understood that the four divisions will all be geographically split in two with round one to be played the weekend of 20/21 February, with provincial championships being played across April and May.

The rest of May until mid-July is expected to be strictly for club games.

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