Thursday 19 September 2019

Cummins looks forward to Tribe's top-flight insight into 'dark arts'

Claregalway’s Danny Cummins. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
Claregalway’s Danny Cummins. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Danny Cummins stops short of saying it will be an education in cynicism. But he uses a choice of other words that allow you to easily catch his drift.

'Dark arts', 'cutes', 'in-game management' - what Galway can expect to pick up with their exposure to Division 1 football for the first time in six years. The top flight is a changed landscape to how it was in 2011 when the Tribesmen made the drop, a harder, more unforgiving place. But that's what they want to get more accustomed to in Galway.

A championship season that began in promising fashion with victory for the second successive year over Mayo finished in disappointment with a rather tame surrender against Kerry in an All-Ireland quarter-final. But Cummins says they can look forward to learning a different trade next spring that is sure to benefit them in the long term. He finds it easy now to agree with Mickey Harte's assertion that a Division 2 team is unlikely to win an All-Ireland title.

"If you asked me that two or three years ago, I would have been a bit oblivious to it. I would have said, 'Ah no, I don't see why you can't (win) out of Division 2'. But there is so much more involved in the heat of championship at inter-county. You can't beat that experience, dealing with it, in-game.

"Ultimately, you need more competitive games leading up to championship. That's probably something we haven't been getting enough of. When you get to the top level of inter-county championship that old phrase is used, the 'dark arts'. It's something we probably haven't experienced enough of.

"Everyone chats about it but no-one really says boo about it," he said of the edge that all the top teams have. "When I watch, say a game in Connacht, whether I am playing or just watching on and then I watch an All-Ireland semi-final or final, the amount of stuff you see going on, you say, 'How does this happen? Or how does this lad get away with that?'

"At that level there is so much other stuff going on that is just part and parcel of it and you need to experience it."

Cummins' club side Claregalway play Roscommon's Michael Glavey's in the AIB Connacht intermediate final on Sunday, having won their way through two games in 24 hours over the weekend before last. A delayed Galway intermediate championship saw them prevail on the Saturday by a goal against Williamstown before they headed to Sligo on Sunday where they beat St John's by two points.

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Claregalway are a coming side in the county, making the most of a population surge outside the city.

"The work that's gone on in Claregalway the last couple of years has been top-notch, getting youth through and getting a good structure in. There's been new land bought, new pitches, a new clubhouse, all in the last couple of years.

"You'd always see what Corofin are doing, winning year in, year out. You'd always try to see what you can take from them and then obviously adapt it to what you have."

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