Players appreciate Meehan's return
There is no more simple and meaningful praise in the game than players applauding a team-mate, and Michael Meehan got a lot of that in Pearse Stadium on Sunday, his return to form for the Galway footballers perfectly timed, in more ways than one.
The quality of Meehan’s passing, and finishing (he scored 1-5) proved the difference as Galway got their Division Two campaign off to a winning start, against Derry;that he produced this as Galway started their first league in 15 years without Pádraic Joyce, and starting his own first campaign in four years, made it all the more significant.
The Caltra player – still only 28 – has endured a series of crippling setbacks since 2009, including double surgery to help repair a chronic ankle injury, plus an operation to repair a dislocated shoulder.
He was also to captain the Galway footballers in 2010, but ended up missing that entire summer, and has only in recent weeks worked his way back to full fitness.
On Sunday, Meehan soon reminded everyone why he’s still one of the best players in the game – and also earned the approval of manager Alan Mulholland.
“It’s great Michael played the 70 minutes, yes, and when we needed guys in the end, Michael was still there, which just proves how much of a loss he’s been for us, all along. He’s still one of the best players in the country, and hopefully that will continue for us over the next couple of years.
Trying to get fit
“The problem Galway have had with Michael, over the last while, is he’s been trying to get fit, trying to get fit, and then just about making it for championship, but you just can’t work it that way.
“You can’t just come along and play well on championship day. That’s why it was vital for us to get Michael involved in the FBD League campaign, and now from the start of the league.
“Because Michael is one of our best players, and we’re delighted to have him fit. He adds something special to the whole group, lifts the whole group, with his professionalism, so please God we’re going to get a good year out of him this year.”
Mulholland also had praise for another former Galway under-21 standout, Michael Martin, at centre forward: “That’s what we need, throughout the field, guys stepping up to assume the role of intercounty footballers, and slowly but surely we’re getting there.”
Meanwhile, Limerick hurling manager John Allen has named Donal O’Grady as captain for this year, with Paudie O’Brien vice captain .
A meeting of the county board last week approved a motion to allow county managers make the appointment; hitherto the county champions nominated him.
Football manager Maurice Horan has named Seánie Buckley from county champions Drom-Broadford as his captain.