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Padraic Mannion impressed for Galway against Kilkenny at Pearse Stadium on Sunday.

Padraic Mannion impressed for Galway against Kilkenny at Pearse Stadium on Sunday.

Padraic Mannion relishing Wexford challenge

By Cian O'Connell

With Kilkenny beaten, Galway's thoughts have quickly turned to next Saturday's Leinster Championship clash away to Wexford.

A schedule packed with heavyweight matches ensures it is a particularly interesting summer for Galway, but Padraic Mannion is relishing the next assignment.

"Wexford are a serious outfit," Mannion admits. "They work really hard and they have a lot of great hurlers on the team. That is the games you want to play, that is what you train for. It is funny now with the games so close together.

"You don’t get a chance to look too far ahead. You could be 10 days out from a big championship game with Wexford but you are preparing for Kilkenny in three days.

"You don’t get much chance to look too far ahead. But look it is down to Wexford Park, everyone knows how good Wexford are down there. It is a massive challenge, but one that we are looking forward to."

Mannion doesn't feel there is any significant problem dealing with the heavy burden of expectancy in the west following last year's exploits.

"No, it is something we took great confidence from last year but as soon as January 1 came, it was a new year," Mannion says.

"Just because you won it last year, it doesn’t give you any right to win any Championship game this year. Last September seems as far away as ever now. New year, new start.

"We are delighted to have four points on the board, the way this Championship has gone, it is very competitive and every two points is massive."

The Ahascragh-Fohenagh clubman enjoyed playing his first Championship match at Pearse Stadium, Galway's first summer fixture at the venue since 2011.

"You could feel the hype and excitement around, because it was the first game, but we are around long enough now to treat it as just another game, another Championship game," Mannion reflects.

"At the end of the day, it is just another game of hurling and you have to treat it like that. All the other stuff, the hype and stuff, even though you are aware of it, you just concentrate on the game."

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