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Paul Conroy suffered a serious leg injury at Croke Park on Sunday.
Paul Conroy suffered a serious leg injury at Croke Park on Sunday.

Walsh praises Conroy's contribution in Galway's rise


By Cian O'Connell

Shane Walsh admits Paul Conroy's absence will be a significant blow to Galway for the remainder of the 2018 Championship.

St James' clubman Conroy suffered a serious leg injury during Galway's All Ireland Quarter-Final Group Phase success over Kerry at Croke Park.

"He's coming around, but obviously it's a difficult time for him because we're in the business end of the Championship and he would like to be heavily involved," Walsh, Pwc GAA-GPA Footballer of the Month for June, says.

"Your heart can't, but go out to him because you know how much he's put into the training, one of the most dedicated lads over the last 10-12 years with Galway. It's just a pity that he's missing out on this time at the moment because the most important thing is he played his part on Sunday.

“He even kicked a point before going off. It's unfortunate, he's probably had that kind of year that not too many players would want to have in that he picked up that injury against Mayo, he'd a bit of an ankle injury against Sligo.

"I suppose he hadn't much football played coming into the Connacht final and then the game the last day, he was probably showing form again and that happens."

PwC GAA-GPA June Footballer of the Month Shane Walsh.
PwC GAA-GPA June Footballer of the Month Shane Walsh.

Conroy is in an influential figure in the Galway set-up according to Walsh. "It's highly unfortunate," Walsh adds. "He's a leader in the dressing-room and no doubt he's a big voice as well for us as a team because he's an experienced player in the group so he'll be looking to bring that on I'm sure into the set-up now going forward, add on his bits of advice and bits of encouragement to us.

"Even you look back at the likes of Michael Meehan, he was part of those days as well when things weren't going that well for Galway and you'd love for those players to be involved at the moment in the way that I suppose the structure that's put in place and the players we have available to us.

"Michael Meehan is one of the best footballers that's ever played football, to think that he probably never got what he deserved, I know he'll argue with me, those kind of players you'd wish would get that kind of reward. Paul, it's an awful thing to happen to him, but it's a young year yet and I know he'll have a big impact on us going forward off the pitch."

Fiontan O'Curraoin has recently returned to training which is a boost for Galway, who face Kildare at St Conleth’s Park on Sunday. Galway’s midfield options have been hit recently with Ciaran Duggan also sidelined due to a wrist problem.

"Not every team has a player like Paul Conroy," Walsh states. "He brings huge asset to the team as well. We have the players there, it's great to have the strength in depth there, you're still missing Paul Conroy in your team but it's great we have the likes of Peter Cooke, Cein D'Arcy is in the panel, Fiontán Ó Curraoin, he actually had the exact same injury that Paul had but they're on two different ends to it.

"Paul's starting his rehabilitation whereas Fiontán has just finished his. It's unfortunate, but we just have to try to get on without them now at the moment."

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