Sunday 25 February 2018

Comer keen to assume much greater leadership role with Galway

Damien Comer. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Damien Comer. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Galway have had to take an experience exodus on board with the departure of Michael Meehan, Finian Hanley and Gary Sice in the off season but Damien Comer wants to step up and provide new leadership in his fifth season with the county's senior footballers.

"I suppose now it's up to the likes of me," he figured. "I'd be one of the more experienced that has been there for a few years. It's time for me to pass on what I know to the younger lads coming through to try to help them on in any way I can.

"I feel like I'm there a long time now, I'm probably becoming one of the more experienced because of lads retiring. Finian, Gary and Mike will be missed around the dressing-room because they'd always be lads that you'd kind of go to, to ask different questions."

Comer made his debut in 2014, having his first Connacht final that July cut short when he was hit with a bone-shaking tackle from Colm Boyle in Castlebar. The experience has stood to him, hardened him in a way for what's ahead over the next few months as Galway make their return to the Division 1 for the first time since 2011.

Blindsided

"I remember when I came off I was thinking, 'Well that's one way to be introduced to be your first Connacht final'. That's the fun of sport. You might get it one day and you give it the next day. He lined me up perfectly. I think I got a free for it, probably shouldn't have even been a free, he just caught me blindsided. It's fair game, I respect any man that does it and I'd give any man on my own team a telling off if there's a hit there to be made and he doesn't do it."

Comer will face Dublin for the first time in this league and is looking forward to the experience, agreeing with Danny Cummins' assertion last year that they'll have to become much more streetwise.

"You have to bring your own edge. We've played a good few of them in championship as it is and we've turned over a good few of them. We'll be looking forward to the challenges that arise and the aim will be to still be in Division 1 next year."

Galway play Dublin in Salthill, missing out on an opportunity to have another Croke Park game and rebalance their losing streak at headquarters which ended in the Division 2 league final against Kildare last April before resuming against Kerry in the All-Ireland quarter-final, a match he felt they could have won.

"Just a lack of experience. It's a bit frustrating how we can blow a team out of the way when we play as we can. But that also just shows that's the potential that we have, when we do it."

Irish Independent

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