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'I just want to look at Galway and see them at Croke Park at the end of the championship' - Corofin's Gary Sice

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Corofin stalwart Gary Sice is hopeful that new manager Pádraic Joyce will bring an extra dimension to Galway football. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Corofin stalwart Gary Sice is hopeful that new manager Pádraic Joyce will bring an extra dimension to Galway football. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Corofin stalwart Gary Sice is hopeful that new manager Pádraic Joyce will bring an extra dimension to Galway football. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

During his time in charge of the Galway footballers, Kevin Walsh listened to plenty of advice about how he should exert a bigger Corofin influence on his team - not just in personnel, but in playing style too.

Three times during Walsh's five-year reign Corofin were crowned All-Ireland champions but their influence was never really felt, not least because their players were tied up for so much of the earlier part of the year.

But Gary Sice, the club's veteran forward whose three points earned his side a draw in Sunday's Galway SFC final against Tuam Stars, feels the gulf between the club and county is too vast to draw a parallel.

It is not a simple matter of translation, he insisted at yesterday's launch of the AIB Club Championships.

"It's not the same, they are two different levels and they are two different sets of people and two different sets of expectations, two different roles completely, they're not comparable. Everyone who has done either of them will tell you the same thing," said Sice.

"The inter-county scene is different to the club scene on a lot of different levels. It can be a long drawn-out argument, the pros and cons of both."

As to the appointment of Pádraic Joyce as Walsh's replacement, Sice isn't bothered about the journey as much of the outcome of the new management's work.

"For me, I just want to see Galway consistently attacking and going forward; and going forward in the championship at the business end, come August.

"However Pádraic decides to do that, I don't really mind. It doesn't bother me, I just want to look at Galway and see them at Croke Park at the end of the championship, and I think every Galway supporter is the same. How we get there is not important, I'll just be interested to see how he goes about it.

"There's a bit of a bounce about it and it's new and it's Pádraic Joyce as well, so that could bring a little bit extra to it. He is Pádraic Joyce at the end of the day, he was a massive footballer and hopefully he can continue that on into his managerial career."

Sice stepped away from inter-county football in 2017 as Dublin's shadow over the game was lengthening. He believes this summer's All-Ireland semi-final cast the rest of the inter-county game in darkness.

"I had a conversation with a friend of mine who was at the Mayo semi-final in Croke Park, sat stunned 20 minutes after the game wondering what happened. It was very competitive for half an hour and then all of a sudden it turned into a whitewash. It was frightening to watch, I was looking at it going, 'What are the rest of us doing?'

"In the final, they weren't as composed but still had reasonably good control for most of it. They are frightening with their consistency."

Sice needed to hold his nerve to salvage a draw with Tuam, triggering a replay for a second year in a row and adding to their workload as they bid to become the first club team to win three successive All-Ireland football titles.

"We are a long way from talking about that, we have Sunday week (replay) to deal with and that's what is on our minds," he said.

"Galway is a tough championship, I know everyone says their own championship is tough but in the last two or three years we've had some close scrapes with local teams with good players. It's a running theme, there's eight or nine games to get through in Galway alone so it's a good championship, it makes for exciting football and we've just been glad to be on the right side of most of it."

Irish Independent