There’s a certain degree of irony in Colm Galvin’s support of Chelsea, writes Peter McNamara.
Appreciating how he performs regularly for Davy Fitzgerald’s side, the Clonlara man has all the hallmarks of Claude Makélélé in his pomp at Stamford Bridge – dynamic, combative and energetic.
Yet, similar to Makélélé, Galvin’s worth to the cause, particularly as Clare captured the Liam McCarthy Cup in 2013, was borderline understated.
Tony Kelly was selected as GAA/GPA Hurler of the Year while Podge Collins was also shortlisted for the award.
Yet, cast your mind back to those high-profile clashes against Limerick in the semi-final and the two memorable meetings with Cork at headquarters, Galvin was exceptional.
He did collect an All-Star for his troubles.
And still, he could easily have been one of those on the Hurler of the Year shortlists such was his exemplary contributions.
Presently, though, as Fitzgerald’s outfit prepare to collide with Waterford in the Allianz NHL Division 1 final in Semple Stadium, Galvin finds himself very much front and centre of their cause in 2016.
But while hurling is most things to Galvin, it isn’t everything, it doesn’t consume him as an individual.
And rightly so.
Nevertheless, Chelsea, allowing for the season they have had that has been flat-lining for months, have not exactly inspired him recently away from his chosen code.
“I am a bit of a Chelsea fan and I follow the Premier League like most,” Galvin said.
“Unfortunately, they’re not exactly going too great at the moment though.
“I’ve lost a bit of interest in it this season with the way they’re playing.”
Galvin has always been a keen golfer and fan of that sport too which probably explains his cultured swing on the hurling fields.
His passion for golf, despite not getting out on the courses these days as much as he would like, remains undiminished.
And his grá for the sport is evident in his tone.
“To mix it up away from the hurling, I train in soccer and rugby a bit as well at the college (Mary Immaculate).
“I mean, if you just played constant hurling year after year you’d get pretty sick of it.
“I haven’t been able to hit enough balls in recent years myself, but I’m a massive golf fan.
“When I was younger I used to play an awful lot.
“Lately, I don’t get enough time to unfortunately but it’s a sport I love.
“I follow it all the time.
“It’s very important to keep things fresh like that, and golf definitely gives me an opportunity to break-away from the norm so to speak,” he explained.
In between the heights provided in 2013 and now, Galvin departed for Boston midway through last year which was a major blow to Clare.
He resided in South Quincy, Massachusetts however, as soon as he saw his team soldiering without him the frustration was too much and he decided to return home.
“It was easy living over in Boston.
“I had a few bob going over so basically we would go to training on Tuesdays and Thursdays and play a match then at the weekend.
“I wanted to go and see a part of the world that had always appealed to me and I needed that break.
“But when I watched the Limerick game and the lads playing on TV I felt I had to come home. It was too frustrating really seeing it but not being a part of it.
“So I gave Davy a shout and came home fairly lively,” Galvin mused.
Currently, Galvin essentially defines how Clare perform this term.
In fact, he contributed 0-5 in open play of Clare’s total of 4-22 in the League semi-final triumph over Kilkenny.
Fitzgerald’s unit prevailed by nine points in that encounter.
However, the first three goals Clare registered were more to do with Eoin Murphy’s uncharacteristic errors rather than any particular attacking masterclass moves, a notion agreed with by Galvin.
“The scoreline did of course flatter us a bit. It was much closer a game than the scoreline suggested.
“One or two of the goals would have been considered soft from Kilkenny’s point of view.
“And you know exactly what Kilkenny are like too, they’ll be bouncing back sharpish, there’s no fear of them at all either,” he stressed.
Galvin has illustrated the extensive sense of professionalism Dónal Óg Cusack has added to Clare this season.
The midfielder outlined how the Cloyne man has complemented Fitzgerald’s management so effectively thus far.
As the Banner tackle Na Déise in the League decider on Sunday, Cusack’s addition seems to be making a significant difference to Clare.
“Dónal Óg’s presence, in itself, has been notable,” Galvin revealed. “Obviously, when you have men like himself and Davy as well as the rest of an outstanding backroom team guiding you, you’re bound to make more progress.
“Thankfully, that is the case with ourselves too.
“Dónal Óg moves around the group and there is purpose to absolutely everything he does.
“It’s actually a case of him being just as helpful away from the field as he is during the training sessions themselves.
“Everybody has massive, massive respect for him.
“He’s won Leagues, Munsters and All-Irelands.
“He’s won it all. We’d be mad not to listen to him.
“But It’s just the way he is around everybody.
“He brings an unbelievable aura of added professionalism.”
Galvin is of the opinion Fitzgerald should get far more credit than he has been getting for bringing Cusack on board in the first place.
“Dónal Óg has been doing a lot of work with the backs and one-on-one sessions with those defenders focusing on technical ball-striking and positional senses.
“All the feedback from those sessions is really encouraging from those involved in them.
“I think too that Davy deserves to be credited a small bit more for actually going out and getting a man of Dónal Óg’s calibre.
“It was a fair shout from Davy in the first place.
“And thankfully things are going really, really well,” he added.