Sheridan impressed with Galway's development
By Cian O’Connell
Having lived in Galway for nearly three decades Maurice Sheridan is well versed in Gaelic Football matters in the west.
Sheridan featured for Mayo in All Ireland finals in 1996 and 1997 so knows what is required to deliver at the highest level.
In 2006 Sheridan captained Salthill-Knocknacarra to AIB All Ireland Club glory and through his work as a teacher Corribside is aware of the developments taking place.
Currently managing NUIG, who face an interesting Electric Ireland Sigerson Cup First Round tie against St Mary’s, Belfast next Wednesday, Sherdian believes Galway have taken significant steps in recent years.
“I think in Galway it has, they were in a minor final last year, they were in an Under 21 final two years ago,” Sheridan says.
“It isn't a bad thing that they lost them both in the sense that it keeps the hunger up. The prospects for Galway are huge, they have some fine players, they are involved with me in the college.
“There is a bounce back in the Galway team at the moment. They won the Connacht title last year, they reached an All Ireland semi-final and League final so it is a good place at the moment.”
Is there any particular reason Sheridan has identified as to why Galway have progressed? “I think there is a lot of good organisation going on in clubs,” Sherdian answers.
“Corofin have raised the standard of every other club in the county because if you want to be up to their standard you have to raise your own. The knock on effect is that the majority of lads are in shape doing their work on the pitch and in the gym. The knock on effect is that the standard is rising.”
Presently Kevin Walsh’s Galway panel is nicely stocked with emerging footballers, who will wear the NUIG maroon in the Sigerson also. “A lot of guys we have are involved in the Galway panel at the moment John Daly, Michael Daly, Peter Cooke, Cein D'arcy, Rob Finnerty, Finian O'Laoi, Kieran Molloy, Cillian McDaid, who we haven't seen because he was injured for a long time, so we hope to see him back in the next few weeks,” Sheridan, who worked alongside Anthony Finnerty with Salthill-Knocknacarra in 2018, states.
“We have eight in there at the moment, it is hard to get access to them which is understandable because the National League is on at the end of January.
“We are doing the best we can with all the guys we have. It is encouraging that they are involved at inter-county, but the other side is that they aren't always available to you.”
Former Mayo colleague James Horan is back in the Mayo hotseat and Sheridan expects him to make an impact once more.
“You'd certainly hope so, he is very capable guy, James,” Sheridan remarks. “He knows what he is doing and he is a driven man.
“He would be very focused and he would go to the ends of the earth with this team really. I sincerely hope he does, it is all about the encouragement of the young lads coming through because I think 12 of the panel are the wrong side of 30.
“Is that a worry or might it be a good thing that the experience is there. I'd be hopeful enough, he is a great guy James, and he will be very focused.
“It is one I'm looking forward to with all the college lads involved, and you'd hope that they don't get injured and all of that stuff.
“Our game is on the following Wednesday against St Mary's and we will have a hard job against them. They had a very good result drawing with Monaghan. They are a hard team to beat, I've seen them play already and we will be up against it.”