Wednesday 16 January 2019

Donoghue fears Galway complacency


Galway hurling manager Mícheál Donoghue. Photo: Sportsfile
Galway hurling manager Mícheál Donoghue. Photo: Sportsfile
Vincent Hogan

Vincent Hogan

Galway hurling manager Micheál Donoghue has warned against the legacy of last year's All-Ireland win being jeopardised by complacency.

Three weeks out from the commencement of their first Championship defence since 1989, the Tribesmen remain many people's favourites to be holding the Liam MacCarthy Cup once again when this season concludes on August 19.

However, Donoghue believes that Galway are still playing catch-up on the under-age development systems in counties such as Kilkenny and Tipperary, stressing that "we just have to ensure that it's not 29 years again".

Speaking exclusively to the Irish Independent this week, the Clarinbridge man believes that Galway's National League, Leinster and All-Ireland wins in 2017 have presented them with a perfect opportunity to build within for long-term success.

"I think when you win, everybody jumps in and wants to be part of it," Donoghue said.

"Everybody talks about making it better. Then, as time passes, you still have to have that motivation, that drive. You still have to have that mentality of 'Are we doing this right?'.

"Now that we've won it, now that we've tasted it, we have to maximise that opportunity both commercially and on the coaching side through under-age. Yes, there's been a massive hit, young fellas everywhere with hurls.

"So now there's this huge interest and these kids have modern-day heroes. But we have to put everything in place to take advantage of that."

Galway begin their Leinster Championship campaign against Offaly in Tullamore on May 12 and, after a week's break, then face three games on successive weekends against Kilkenny, Wexford and Dublin.

Their most generous price to retain the All-Ireland is currently 11/4, with Donoghue insisting that their dressing-room's hunger is far from sated by last year's successes.

"Like we're not content," he stressed.

"We know ourselves internally that what we did last year isn't going to be enough. The lads know that, we know that.

"Everyone has to want the same thing and I think we do. But we just have to keep driving it. Because if we don't, what good is last year?"

Irish Independent

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