Ollie Canning: Cats tie will show Galway's true summer form
Galway hurling legend Ollie Canning expects Sunday's eagerly-anticipated Leinster SHC round-robin clash with Kilkenny to be the perfect measure of the Tribesmen's true form.
Some doubts surround Micheál Donoghue's reigning All-Ireland champions after they tamely relinquished their league crown but Canning is anticipating answers in Pearse Stadium.
"It's a huge game and a yardstick to see where are Galway. There are a lot of questions about 'where are Galway?' because winning the All-Ireland last year, is there a bit of a hangover?" Canning said.
"The league was only so-so for them. So people are asking the question, 'Can Galway get back to the same level they got to last year?' And Kilkenny will be a measure of where they are at."
assistance Canning, older brother of Hurler of the Year Joe, relishes the visit of the Cats to Salthill and after finally being granted Leinster SHC games on home soil, he believes that assistance may tip the scales for them.
"Home advantage is probably a one- or two-point advantage. I just feel in your home ground, if you take a snap shot, you have a fair idea where the goals are when you are used to playing on the pitch.
"Galway will need to use that advantage against Kilkenny," the four-time All-Star said.
With the likes of Johnny Glynn, Jason Flynn and Niall Burke to make an impact off the bench, the Portumna great feels that Galway's attacking options now mirror Brian Cody's brilliant four-in-a-row-winning side (2006-2009).
"When Kilkenny were in their prime, they had two or three guys that would come in and make the difference on any given day.
"Galway have that at the moment, especially in the forward line. That can only be an advantage."