Monday 24 July 2017

'We need all our best hurlers playing' – Tony Kelly hopeful of All Star Galvin returning to Clare fold

5 June 2016; Colm Galvin of Clare in action against Jake Dillon of Waterford during the Munster GAA Hurling Senior Championship Semi-Final match between Waterford and Clare at Semple Stadium in Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
5 June 2016; Colm Galvin of Clare in action against Jake Dillon of Waterford during the Munster GAA Hurling Senior Championship Semi-Final match between Waterford and Clare at Semple Stadium in Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Michael Verney

Tony Kelly is still holding out hope of seeing former All-Star Colm Galvin lining out for Clare at some stage this year despite his current absence from the Banner fold.

Galvin, who played a pivotal part in Mary Immaculate College retaining the independent.ie Fitzgibbon Cup last month, was allegedly dropped by joint-managers Donal Moloney and Gerry O'Connor for disciplinary reasons.

But former Hurler of the Year Kelly is hoping the Clonlara midfielder will be back on board in the coming months as the 2013 All-Ireland champions cannot afford the luxury of leaving their best players at home.

"From talking to him, he said he was going back focusing on college. He's in his final year, get that done and get out the door of college and I think he was quoted as saying he was meeting the two boys," Kelly said at the AIB GAA All-Ireland Club Finals Media Day.

"So I presume after he talks to the two lads, I don't know what their call will be on it. Look, a county like Clare, we want all our best players on the panel and he's certainly one of those. You saw yesterday his brother, Ian, they're the kind of lads you need to progress Clare.

"We're not in the luxury of comparing to the Dublin footballers, no-one is on the scale they are with the talent they're pulling through but in Clare we need all our best hurlers playing. I suppose we'd be hopeful he'd be on the panel."

Galvin's younger brother Ian came off the bench to hit three points in the final quarter of their Allianz Division 1A defeat to All-Ireland champions Tipperary yesterday and Kelly believes he's "a serious operator".

"He's a serious, serious operator. He did his cruciate this time last year, he's only just back. That was literally his first time on the field since he did his cruciate so he's a serious, serious operator," Kelly said.

Kelly also lamented the loss of Conor Ryan, an All-Star four years ago, but is thankful that his outstanding leadership qualities will be retained as he remains part of the backroom team despite being advised to take a year out of inter-county action on medical advice.

"Ryano is a loss definitely but the lads have managed to keep him around, he's getting involved with the backroom and he's there because even his on-field leadership is brilliant but what he does off the field carries even more weight," he said.

"He's brilliant in around the panel even though he hasn't played much the last 12 months, even his positivity around the whole group, you'd never even think he was struggling with injury.

"We saw how good he was in 2013 from the quarter-final stage on and from them he's been a physical presence either at midfield or in the half-back line, he's definitely a loss. Another option you can't call upon but at least he is going to be there for the foreseeable future in the background."

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