Experience is crucial for Galway’s Skehill

Updated: September 27, 2012

Galway’s James Skehill has said that playing in an All-Ireland final against Kilkenny will help the Tribesmen when the teams meet to do it all over again on Sunday.

Skehill made the point that having a replay isn’t as bad as some people may think, as Sunday’s game will effectively be the second All-Ireland final that some of the younger Galway players have participated in.

The goalkeeper, who helped win his team a replay with a superb save from Colin Fennelly in the final, has said that the experience of that All-Ireland final will help Galway this Sunday.

Speaking to GAA TV, the 24-year old said: “I find that I have a 10% to 20% increase in my mindset for my match day preparation. An All-Ireland Final is now common ground for both teams. We know what to expect in the lead up to the game, on the team bus, in the hotel, on the pitch etc.

“That’s all part of our pre-game build up now, where it wasn’t (for the drawn final). You were stuck in purgatory a small bit trying to envisage what would happen.

“It’s all common ground now and we know exactly what’s going to happen pre-game the next day.

“The game ended in a draw so, for me, I have effectively parked that game. I try and take a few bits from every game, positive and negative, and I have done that. In my view now the drawn game is done and dusted and I am focused on the next day.”

Skehill also spoke about the effectiveness of his puck-outs and how he hopes to create scoring opportunities for such established forwards including the magnificent Joe Canning and Damien Hayes.

“When you come up against a defence like Kilkenny, with numerous All Stars all, all you can do, as a goalkeeper, is try and create attacks to gain an advantage for your team,” said the Cappataggle man.

“You may only get a score directly off your puck-outs one in five times, but if that is the ratio that wins you the game than so be it. Other days it mightn’t work.

“The puck-out for the second goal (in the drawn final) worked and we had to be patient for that one. But you’re up against Tommy Walsh, Brian Hogan, Jackie Tyrell and these guys.

“They are all seasoned campaigners, All Stars and All-Ireland winners so all you can do is try your best to bring a puck-out to your advantage.”

William Hill Sports

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