I thought I'd never play in Croke Park again, admits Donnellan
For Galway, getting through an All-Ireland quarter-final represented something of a milestone.
For Cyril Donnellan, playing in the game at all was a small personal victory.
As he basked in the glow of victory over Cork and a spot in the last four of the All-Ireland series, Donnellan revealed that injury woes left him wondering if he'd ever get to play in places like Semple Stadum and Croke Park.
"(I had) two groin operations. It was very slow, it's very hard to train on your own when you are making little progress," revealed the Padraig Pearses clubman.
"I'm still having niggles, but look I'm delighted. I thought I'd never see Semple Stadium again as a player. I thought I'd never see Croke Park again.
"I had a very tough time for 18 or 20 months but I'm happy enough; the body isn't getting any younger but once I keep injury-free I'll be happy."
Donnellan hailed Galway's young tyros in attack as they proved too hot to handle for a Rebel side who fell away in the final quarter.
"Cathal Mannion has been doing it all year, he gave a big performance for us in the League when we were missing a lot of players, and the spread of scores came from a range of different players.
"Every one of them, they all want to work hard. It's not about scores, it's about working hard for the team; if we lose a ball, we'll try and get it back. There is a big focus on that.
"It's built up about Joe (Canning) and getting the ball to Joe and that, but we've loads of scoring forwards, loads of opportunities to score points and goals."
The Tribesmen now move on to a clash with Tipperary in the last four.
And Donnellan believes they have a real chance of turning the Premier County over if they play up to their potential.
"They're after winning the Munster Championship, I would have felt they should have won an All-Ireland last year," added Donnellan.
"They were within a puck of a ball of it, they probably did all the hurling in the first All-Ireland final as well.
"Look it, it'll be three weeks again to knuckle down, try and get to a pitch on the day again. It's all on the day now, if you come with a performance you've a great chance.
"Any team that wants to go anywhere in the Championship their attitude has to be very, very good.
"You see the workrate and effort Waterford are putting in as well and you see the progress they are making with that."
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