Galway look to Cork template under Kernan

GALWAY will be using Cork as the template for how they want to progress and become All-Ireland contenders again under the management of Joe Kernan.

So says dual All-Ireland winner Seán O Domhnaill, who is still getting used to the idea of being involved as an inter-county selector with Galway under the Crossmaglen maestro.

O Domhnaill was called up out of the blue by Kernan but by the time Armagh’s All-Ireland-winning manager had finished talking, the An Ceathrú Rua club man was ready to join the cause.

“If you told me a month ago that I’d be a selector with Galway, I’d have said you were mad,” O Domhnaill concedes.

“Joe took me in and we had a chat and everything he said was what I wanted to hear. I think Galway needed (someone like Joe to be made manager). The county has won only one game outside Connacht for nine years. So we’re no better than Dublin for not being able to win outside the province.

“What Joe will be bringing is a tightness, strength; a mentality that we’ll all be singing from the same hymn sheet. There’ll be discipline. We will guarantee that any team that goes out to represent Galway, every player on it will be giving 100%.”

And it is the Rebels’ progression in recent years under Conor Counihan that the westerners will look to repeat.

“I think the benchmark is Cork. I know they lost to Kerry but that is more a mental thing. You look at their style of play; they have plenty of big guys but they can play football. Look at Pearse O’Neill; he’s around 6’5” but he’s a fine footballer.

“You’d be looking for players that can take hits and just bounce off, whether they’re 5’9” or 6’ plus. We need to get Galway players into that situation where they’re not going to roll away.”

The new management will miss the county final replay as they fly to New York this morning for Sunday’s final of the Connacht FBD League.

O Domhnaill is expecting a better quality game than last weekend, with Mountbellew/Moylough not so badly affected by nerves and Corofin a little sharper in front of the posts.

There will be scouts in attendance but Kernan, O Domhnaill and Tom Naughton must get what they can out of what many people view as a futile exercise in the Big Apple.

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