| 7°C Dublin

Hanley admits Galway must 'change the fundamentals'

FINIAN HANLEY has conceded that Galway football will have to engage in some serious end-of-year soul-searching after last Sunday's Mayo debacle – come what may in the qualifiers.

And he warned that the Tribesmen can't simply presume their enviable U21 record will eventually translate into senior success.

Hanley missed last Sunday's 17-point defeat by the old green-and-red enemy through injury. The inevitable barb is that this surely qualified as a lucky break for Galway's stricken captain, who can't be held to account for their defensive horror show, but he refuses to see it that way. There were, he admits, no redeeming features.

Asked about local radio comments from former Galway midfielder Seán Ó Domhnaill, calling for a root-and-branch review, Hanley accepted that he "possibly" had a point.

"It's probably an underlying issue that needs to be looked at," he said.

"We're all the time saying about U21 teams and we've won four U21s (since 2002) but that doesn't necessarily mean senior success.

"If you look at the top teams in the country now, there's not many of them coming through because of the physical demands and obviously you need the head for it a bit more now.


"It's not happening as much, so we can't say that we're going to pull in 10 or 15 U21s and they're going to turn into brilliant senior footballers. It's a different step-up.

"But I do think that the whole thing needs to be looked at, probably at the end of this year, regardless of how we go in the qualifiers. Sit down and see what's gone wrong, and how to change the fundamentals."

The Salthill/Knocknacarra clubman was missing from his usual full-back posting last Sunday because of a shoulder injury, but he's hoping to be available for Galway's first-round qualifier at the end of June.