Despite the inclement Summer weather spirits are high in the hurling heartlands of Galway as preparations intensify for the County’s first All Ireland final appearance since 2005.
As with any final demand for tickets is enormous, 12,000 tickets have been allocated but demand is estimated to be in the region of 30000. Locally there is great excitement in the parish of Ballymacward and Gurteen as we have two representatives on the panel for the first time in over two decades. Cyril and Fergal have done us proud so far and will no doubt continue to do so on the 9th of September.
After a very poor season last year expectations in the County were at an all time low at the start of 2012. The transformation that Anthony Cunningham and his management team have brought about has been nothing short of incredible. Their vision, coaching and leadership has won many admirers both inside and outside the County.
With a combination of fresh young talent and some rejuvenated older players a new team was created. The class, steel and mental toughness the players have shown this year is what was sadly lacking under previous managements.
Some players have been completely transformed and are now hurling at a level many would not have previously envisaged, Kevin Hynes, Cyril Donnellan and Iarlaith Tannian were not regulars in past seasons but are now key men, while Joe Canning is playing out of his skin and is leading the younger players with distinction.
The new players that have been introduced from last year’s successful U21 side have added confidence and energy to the set up, Johny Coen, Niall Donohue and Niall Burke have been the stars so far and their performances have belied their lack of experience at the highest level.
Considering the success that Galway hurling has enjoyed at club and underage level over the last twenty years it really is hard to believe that twenty four years have passed since our last senior win. The pressure increases as the years pass but if the duck was broken then more titles could follow as self belief would soar and talk of “the famine” would disappear. All roads lead to Croke Park on Sunday. We dare to dream…
Why are Galway a massive 3/1 to defeat Kilkenny? CLICK HERE TO READ
Canning Renaissance key to Galway success over Kilkenny CLICK HERE TO READ