Whelan admits Galway hurlers are a team in transition
By John Harrington
Conor Whelan says the Galway hurlers are a team in transition at the moment.
Under new manager Henry Shefflin they’ve won two and lost two matches in Division 1A of the Allianz Hurling League so far this year.
Inconsistency often goes hand in hand with inexperience, and Whelan admits bringing through young players and getting them up to speed as quickly as possible is a real priority at the moment.
“I think we're very much a team in transition,” said Whelan today at the launch of the Allianz retro jerseys in Croke Park today.
“We've had a few very experienced elder statesmen step away and we're trying to transition younger players through and that's very much a work in progress.
“That's what we've been focusing on in the League. There have been positives as well but we obviously have a lot to work on and that'll be our focus going forward, transitioning younger players through and bring them up to that level. It's a process that doesn't happen overnight and we have lots of areas to work on.
“A lot of the focus has to be on us as players. We have to improve and drive standards ourselves and perform better than last year.
“We were hugely disappointed with last year and haven't had the level of performances that we would have wanted for a while. Going forward we want to perform at a better standard and get back to winning games.”
The Galway hurling camp was struck by tragedy earlier this month when Paul Shefflin, brother of team manager Henry Shefflin, died while out for a run. Whelan admits such a sad moment puts sport in perspective.
“I suppose you put so much time into hurling and sometimes we can lose perspective of the most important things in life,” he says.
“It was an awful tragedy and it really hits home for players the reality that there's a lot more pressing matters out there in the world.
“Unfortunately you've wars and tragedy and stuff like that and that's why I think it's very important we enjoy playing hurling and enjoy getting back and having fans at games and stuff like that.
“It's an immensely tragic time and just one of those things that it's very hard to have the words to put into perspective.”
To celebrate 30 years of the Allianz Leagues, six counties will wear once off retro jerseys inspired by those worn in the first season of Allianz’s sponsorship of the competition. The kits will be worn this weekend by Tyrone and Mayo in football along with Galway, Clare, Wexford and Cork in hurling. Fans can enter a draw to win a signed retro jersey with all proceeds going to Allianz’s charity partner Women’s Aid. To enter the raffle simply visit www.idonate.ie/raffle/AllianzWomensAid.