Sunday 25 February 2018

Mayo's Harrison aims to step up to next level

Harrison: Returning from injury. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Harrison: Returning from injury. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Daragh Small

Mayo All-Star defender Brendan Harrison says his personal awards and accolades last year were only part of the bigger picture and he hopes to take another step in the right direction against Galway.

Mayo lost their strangle-hold on the Connacht title when they were shocked by Galway in last year's semi-final in Castlebar.

On Sunday, last year's beaten All-Ireland finalists travel to Salthill where they will look for revenge against their old rivals in Pearse Stadium. The 24-year-old Aghamore clubman picked up an All-Star last year as Mayo brought Dublin to a replay but couldn't win their first All-Ireland since 1951.

And while Harrison was thrilled to be one of the four Mayo players to pick up an award in 2016, he believes he is only starting his journey with this Mayo side.

"You are there for a few years trying to break into the team, there are loads of guys that were in my exact situation then in the panel that people don't even know about," said Harrison. "If you don't have that competition coming up you aren't going to improve. So a lot of hard work and probably back then you'd be disappointed you didn't get on the field. Once you get out there, you have to make the most of your opportunity. It was a huge honour to get an All-Star. It was a massive shock. Throughout the year I was just happy to be on the field."

Harrison missed Mayo's Connacht quarter-final victory over Sligo with a hamstring injury, but is on the bench for Sunday.

Irish Independent

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