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Mannion: O'Neill's 'freshness' is great

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Galway captain Padraic Mannion. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Galway captain Padraic Mannion. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Galway captain Padraic Mannion. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

New Galway hurling captain Padraic Mannion admits it was strange coming back into the county squad without having Micheál Donoghue in charge, but that the 'high standards' implemented by new manager Shane O'Neill have lifted everyone.

Mannion developed into one of Galway's most reliable defenders in the four years that he played under Donoghue, and after the close-season overhaul in the county, the 26-year-old has replaced David Burke as captain and O'Neill has taken charge of the team.

Following a win over Westmeath and defeat to Limerick the jury is still out on the Tribesmen this year, but the Ahascragh-Fohenagh man says O'Neill's impact has been significant.

"It probably was a bit weird in ways going back. I started in 2015 when we had Anthony Cunningham. Then for the next four years we had the same management. I was kind of used to the same set-up, but the change has been great," said Mannion.

"It has brought a freshness and something different. The lads have brought huge, high standards which has been a continuation. That is all we could ask for as players.

"Obviously when you are four years under a management team and you had a bit of success you build up relationships on and off the pitch with the management team that was there. We kind of knew early on; we had a good length of time from when he (Donoghue) left. So we had time to adapt in our own heads to the change coming."

Irish Independent