Galway GAA have launched a new partnership with Setanta College that will focus on the delivery of athletic development programmes for the county’s underage development squads.

Covering both hurling and football, the design and delivery of the programmes will be carried out by coaches from Setanta. Leading the implementation of the partnership will be Galway native Des Ryan, who has previously worked as Head of Sports Science and Medicine at the Arsenal FC Academy and is now Director of Coaching and Performance at Setanta.

Chairman of Galway GAA, Paul Bellew, said, “We are delighted to launch our new partnership with Setanta College. There is a firm commitment in Galway GAA to deliver a development pathway that maximizes the potential of our players all the way through to adult level, and this is a significant step forward in doing so in terms of athletic development, sports psychology and nutritional support. Setanta College’s expertise, educational focus and high support environment under the direction of Des Ryan aligns with our aims of assisting players both on and off the field. We look forward to working closely with Des and the team at Setanta in delivering on our shared aims.”

The partnership was officially launched at an event in the Clayton Hotel, Galway, where representatives from both Galway GAA and Setanta provided an overview of the structure of the new partnership to both players and parents. Also supporting the design of the athletic development pathway will be Lukasz Kirszenstein and Jonathan Harris-Wright, Lead Athletic Development coaches with the county’s Senior Hurling and Football teams.

Des Ryan, Director of Coaching & Performance at Setanta College, said, “We have a great interest in developing young people and players at Setanta so we are very excited to embark on this new partnership with Galway GAA. This project will be dual aspirational; firstly, we want all development players to enjoy Gaelic Games and play with their clubs for as long as possible. We also want to help every player be the best version of themselves. A number of players will go onto play for the county Minor, u20 and Senior teams and we will help them to be physically prepared for those challenges. The Athletic Development, Sports Psychology and Nutrition support provided by Setanta will focus on Health, well-being and Physical Development. We will also ensure it will be a high-challenge and high-support environment.”