Finian Hanley calls for Galway to examines its football fundamentals

Problems go beyond Sunday’s hiding at the hands of Mayo

Galway captain Finian Hanley: is still nursing a shoulder injury which ruled him out of the the Mayo defeat last Sunday. Photograph: Inpho

Galway captain Finian Hanley: is still nursing a shoulder injury which ruled him out of the the Mayo defeat last Sunday. Photograph: Inpho

Wed, May 22, 2013, 02:00

Six more counties will have joined Galway (plus Armagh and Carlow) in the pool for the football qualifiers by this Sunday evening, although none of them are likely to face the sort of doomsday scenario that has surrounded Galway football since their exit to Mayo last Sunday.

Yet all the talk of tactical naivety, over-reliance on pure tradition, and the need for a complete root-and-branch investigation into what ails Galway football is something captain Finian Hanley agrees with entirely.

Hanley is still nursing a shoulder injury which ruled him out of the the Mayo game, yet is intent on being back playing for the start of the qualifiers on June 29th – and with that begin the quest of salvaging something from the summer.

‘Basic errors’
“It was fairly obvious to everyone watching that basic errors killed us,” he says, “so no, there’s nothing really we can take from it.

“The first 10 to 15 minutes we were poor, were lethargic and everything we did was wrong, and then the soft goals we gave away as well was disappointing.

“Coming into the week, we had trained well, lads were quite optimistic. So I can’t really explain it, or why it happened, but it did – and it did on the biggest day in the summer and that’s very disappointing.”

So in the matter of how to address it Hanley agrees it has to go all the way to the grassroots of Galway football.

“If you look at the last couple of years, and the different defeats, we’ve lost games by one point, on Sunday we lost by 16 or 17 points, so it’s probably an underlying issue that needs to be looked at, with the structures coming forward.

‘Senior success’
“We’re all the time saying about under-21 teams but that doesn’t necessarily mean senior success. It did, 10 or 15 years ago, because an under-21 could come into a senior team.

“If you look at the top teams in the country now, there’s not many of them coming through because of the physical demands and obviously you need the head for it a bit more now. So I do think that the whole thing needs to be looked at, probably at the end of this year, regardless of how we go in the qualifiers.

“Sit down and see what’s gone wrong, what’s gone right, and how to change the fundamentals.”

“But the experienced players, myself included, we just have to try to pick it up and see where we go from here.

“But the game has changed big time and I think that’s something that has to be looked at.”