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Ollie Canning pictured at the GAA Youth Forum in partnership with Sky Sports at Croke Park last weekend.
Ollie Canning pictured at the GAA Youth Forum in partnership with Sky Sports at Croke Park last weekend.

Ollie Canning: 'Galway will be back again next year'

By Cian O'Connell

Ollie Canning believes that Galway will respond next year following the All Ireland Final defeat against Limerick.

A daring late rally from Galway brought Micheal Donoghue's team to within a point of Limerick, who had dominated vast chunks of the decider, at Croke Park.

"As a team, the feedback from Joe was that the lads were really disappointed, they felt they could have done things differently on the day," Canning says. "They felt the performance wasn't enough to win the game and they accept that. But they also know that a one-point loss doesn't make them a bad team. 

"They'll be disappointed that they didn't close it out, but I feel that when Galway get back training and get the winter over them, they're going to come back really hungry."

That Galway came within a whisker of forcing a replay demonstrated real character with Joe Canning unfortunate that a mammoth free in the dying seconds just fell a few yards short.

"He had to take that free on, if he'd got a perfect connection he'd more than likely have scored," his older brother, Ollie, states. 

"He did 99 per cent of it right because it was on target and only just came up short. Was he disappointed? Yes. But do you beat yourself up over it? No.

The #GAAyouth Forum was another successful event in 2018.
The #GAAyouth Forum was another successful event in 2018.

"You can't, that's just the way sport goes. You have to move on. He gave it a good shot. Joe took that free on and went for it. These results are never just down to one thing in a game either."

Ultimately Canning was impressed by the manner in which Galway performed throughout an action packed summer.

"I feel that Galway did well to get back into the final," is Canning's verdict.

"We've seen in the last few years that lots of teams failed to make it back to the final after winning it. Did Galway reach the heights of the previous year? Maybe not.

"The two replays, against Kilkenny and Clare, that really packed out their season. Maybe that wasn't the ideal run to the final. That's not an excuse. "Limerick just came right. Once they got over Kilkenny they finished the season really strongly. To take down Kilkenny at that stage was huge and the momentum was definitely with Limerick from there on.

"Full credit to them for their win over Galway on the day. Galway came back strong, I don't think anyone could say they didn't give it everything, but Limerick were the better team on the day.

"Galway winning it last year probably made it that small bit easier to accept losing this year. And look, I think Galway will be back again next year, they're not an old team by any stretch."

Sky Sports Pundit, Ollie Canning, Cork star Conor Lehane and two time All Star award winner, Conor McManus attended the GAA Youth Forum. This is the second year of a five year grassroots partnership which has seen Sky Sports extend its support beyond the screen and invest €3million directly into GAA grassroots. As well as partnering with the GAA in support of today’s Youth Forum, Sky Sports will also continue to grow the game through its involvement with the GAA Super Games Centres countrywide, an initiative which encourages more kids to participate and get involved in Gaelic Games as well as The GAA Games Development Conference (January 2019).