Joyce proud of Galway's players
By Cian O'Connell
Galway manager Pádraic Joyce is hopeful that an emerging crop of footballers can continue to make an impact for the maroon and white team.
Kerry eventually claimed All-Ireland SFC glory at Croke Park, but Joyce is hopeful about the future.
"The county needs to use as a springboard, there is a lot of good, ambitious young players in the group," Joyce says.
"And even our older players aren’t that old. We need to use it to come back stronger and see what departments we can get better in.
"Since December 8 last year, I started training these fellas and I can’t fault them for any bit of effort.
"They trained when they were supposed to train and played when they are supposed to play.
"They just fell short at the end of the day and it is a huge lesson for us, but we are using it as a springboard to create something special going forward."
Joyce praised the diligent manner in which his team performed throughout.
"I thought we played very, very well," Joyce remarked. "We played football to try to win the game, went in at half-time ahead, 8-7 I think.
"Credit has to go to our defence, Liam Silke was outstanding at centre-back, kept Sean O’Shea very, very quiet. Jack Glynn was immense on Paudie Clifford.
"We had a foothold in the game. I know we lost a few kick-outs and stuff, but we fought our way into the game. Shane [Walsh] was outstanding up front, kicked some great scores. In at half-time, 8-7, came out after the break I think Kerry came at us, went a couple of points up. We came back.
David Clifford converted a late pressure free from an acute angle to edge Kerry 0-17 to 0-16 in front and it was a defining moment in the game.
"Those frees are like tap-overs for the likes of Clifford," Joyce says. "It was a two-point swing for us, we had the momentum at that stage.
"I said to the players, to a man, I am really proud of them from where we have come from, where we were to where we are now as a group.
"The dressing-room in there is really hurting and I know everyone in the room, nobody gave us a chance in the match. We knew we had a great chance and bitterly disappointed that we had come so close."