Thursday 21 November 2019

'We believe in our ability and the players we have' - Skehill

Galway's James Skehill
Galway's James Skehill

Daragh Small

Galway sub 'keeper James Skehill insists they haven't underachieved in recent seasons despite the county's All-Ireland famine stretching back 27 years and he believes a breakthrough is not far away.

The Tribesmen haven't won the Liam MacCarthy since they beat Tipperary in 1988, and on Sunday will hope to beat them to reach their first final since 2012.

The 27-year-old was an All-Star nominee three years ago when Galway lost to Kilkenny after a replay in the decider. But Tipperary and Kilkenny have contested four of the last six finals and the Cappataggle clubman knows his team are outsiders this time around too.

"Kilkenny have won the All-Irelands recently and they have great individuals. When you analyse it, they have no massive game plan they just have fantastic hurlers and that is it," he reasons.

"There is no serious formula so we haven't underachieved. It is like saying Man United should have won the Premier League in the last few seasons. They are up against great teams.

"I wouldn't say we have underachieved, we have been competitive. But there is a belief that we can go all the way.

"When you look around the dressing room you see the calibre of hurler that we have.


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"Whether it be at the back or up front we have fantastic players and great characters. We believe in our ability and I believe in the lads that we have," he said.

Skehill was the captain as Galway claimed All-Ireland intermediate crown when they beat Cork 0-23 to 0-14 in Limerick last weekend.

The fancied Galway U-21s are yet to begin their All-Ireland campaign and will take on Limerick in the semi-final.

Meanwhile, the minors take on Kilkenny in a replay of their thrilling draw at Croke Park on Sunday. That is a precursor to the big clash against Tipperary and Skehill says it is a great year for Galway hurling.

"You want to be competitive and when we are competitive we want to win the championship.

"We have one down now and three to go. We have a good minor team, hopefully they will go well against Kilkenny.

"We have a good U-21 team and then there is the senior team and we are going well at the minute.

"We are up against on Sunday. Tipperary are the favourites and rightly so. They have been an excellent side over the last couple of years but we prepared well.

"You want to keep the ball rolling. Momentum is a big thing now in sport."

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