'This championship is not a marathon it's a sprint'- Brendan Cummins believes Galway will rue Carlow game
Tipperary legend Brendan Cummins believes that Galway's slow start against Carlow contributed to their early championship exit.
Galway were knocked out of the Leinster championship on scoring difference and Cummins highlighted the detrimental gravity of their poor showing against Carlow to their championship hopes.
"The very first game against Carlow, they only won it by six points, everybody else averaged about thirteen points against Carlow and that was the start of it," said Cummins on The Throw-In podcast in association with Bord Gáis Energy.
"This championship is not a marathon it's a sprint and you have to go all out all the time abd I think [Galway] thought for the Carlow game that they would just get through it and worry about the other games later and they've paid the highest price possible," he addeed.
Following Galway's agonising exit from the championship in Parnell Park, Cummins objected to claims that underage talent wasn't being brought to the table quick enough.
"If you have a twenty-year-old now coming out it takes two more years of strength and conditioning to get him big enough to be able to play," said Cummins.
"[Brian] Concannon was the guy that I thought might break through, but his confidence has obviously dipped last year in a couple of the Leinster championship matches, then when they got to Croke Park he wasn't used at all," Cummins added.
Cummins highlighted the gap between work-rate from the underage levels compared with the senior game as a reason the U21s were finding it hard to edge onto Micheal Donoghue's team, but also the gulf in physical size in players.
"They need to add on about another half stone in muscle to play at this elite level," Cummins said.
Joe Canning was a notable absentee for the Tribesmen as he recovered from injury and Herald GAA reporter Conor McKeon believes Galway's weakened panel ultimately let them down this year.
"The fact that they were bringing back [Jonathon] Glynn and [Joseph] Cooney again and throwing them straight back into the team shows that they weren't 100% confident with the players they had," said McKeon.
"Niall Burke came on and was taken off the other night in Parnell Park. He was somebody that you taught was going to step up to the mark in the absence of Joe Canning and make a big impact."
Cummins reflected on a disappointing weekend for Micheal Donghue's team and believed until Saturday's dramatic conclusion that Galway were one of the leaders in the race for Liam.
"I thought they were one of the favourites for the All-Ireland, I thought that they would stumble their way to the Leinster championship and then they would get Joe (Canning) back and (Conor) Cooney back and they would be all set to make a drive," said Cummins.