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Galway manager Kevin Walsh pictured at St Conleth's Park, Newbridge on Sunday.
Galway manager Kevin Walsh pictured at St Conleth's Park, Newbridge on Sunday.

Galway learning valuable lessons

By Cian O'Connell

During Kevin Walsh's tenure in charge of Galway many valuable lessons have been learned.

Sunday's All Ireland SFC Quarter-Final Group Phase win over Kildare provided the latest source of encouragement at St Conleth's Park.

"I'll be honest with you, I don't overly enjoy many games - what you enjoy is the development of players, the development of systems, things you put in place to get the best out of the players," Walsh reflected about Galway's success.

"I enjoy the training side of it. These matches, at times, aren't the most enjoyable. I'd like to be up in your seats sometimes."

When Kildare posed questions Galway were sufficiently craty to summon the answers.

"I've said this before, there were one or two games early on this year that we had to dig out - and probably shouldn't be in that position with the amount of chances we had," Walsh stated.

"Look, I could be wrong here, but I'd say we probably missed a lot of chances that should have put us a bit more comfortable.

"But in fairness, when it came back to one point at the end and the Newbridge crowd behind them, but in fairness the Galway support was absolutely superb and it really drove us on as well.

"It's a learning process, to learn out to dig it out away from home on a tight pitch."

How did it compare to the Croke Park success over Kerry?

"We'll look at it again during the week - it's a bit of green grass, but a different surrounding," Walsh replied. "I think the Super 8s got a bit of a lashing over being in Croke Park. The atmosphere inside can often kill a game. You saw the atmosphere there.

"I'd say from your point of view it probably looked a far, far better game of football. You have to take all these things into account. It's not that people go out to be flat. You need to look at surrounds as well.

"What did we take out of last week? We got over the line. A sloppy goal at the end. Take out of this week? I suppose we'd rather not have been in that position coming down the line, but at the same time, when the boys were asked questions, they really dug it out."

Recent injuries to Paul Conroy and Ciaran Duggan have restricted Galway's options, but the Annaghdown clubman could still play some part for the Tribesmen this summer.

"Ciaran is improving," Walsh added. "He got the cast off last week so we just have to work on him over the next two weeks to see where it takes us."

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