Don’t get him wrong — he has huge time for Alan Mulholland’s predecessor, Tomás Ó Flatharta, a man he felt was wronged last year.
But the pleasure he’s deriving from this season is difficult to beat. Victory over Kildare tomorrow will send Galway back up to Division 1, one season after relegation.
However, he points to the positive attitude within the camp as the primary reason for the good vibes. “Alan is a believer in football. That’s the way the players are in Galway. The style is not going to be too complicated, too pragmatic. It’s just going to be positive football all of the time. Our ambition is to get the ball up the pitch as quick as we can. That’s the way it should be played and the way Alan is looking to drill into the team, the traditional Galway style and mix it with a high intensity game.
“It’s not all about silky football but the Galway style is the Galway style. Alan wants players enjoying their football more so than getting too worked up with tactic boards and things like that. It’s all about playing football and enjoying it. You can see in some of the performances so far that the team are enjoying it a lot more than they have been.”
Meanwhile, Dublin manager Pat Gilroy has rang the changes after last weekend’s heavy defeat against Mayo in Castlebar for tomorrow’s Division 1 football league tie against Cork in Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
There are seven alterations in all. Into the side come Michael Savage in goal and Philly McMahon and Johnny Cooper in defence. Sean Murray and Eamon Fennell form a new midfield partnership while in attack David Byrne and Craig Dias are brought in. Stephen Cluxton, Darren Daly, Ger Brennan, Ross McConnell, Paul Brogan, Paddy Andrews and Tomás Quinn are the players to make way.
Galway hurling Anthony Cunningham drafted in three members of last year’s All-Ireland minor winning team to his squad ahead of next Sunday’s Division 1A relegation final against Dublin.
Tynagh/Abbey-Duniry duo Shane Maloney and Padraig Breheny, and Ardrahan’s Jonathan Glynn have been called up along with 2009 minor winning skipper Richie Cummins and former U21 Niall Quinn. Aidan Harte, who came on as a sub in the 3-26 to 0-10 mauling by Kilkenny last Sunday, has been dropped from the squad along with Mark Lydon, Donal Cooney and Jason Grealish.
DUBLIN (SF v Cork): M Savage; C O’Sullivan, R O’Carroll, P McMahon; J Cooper, J McCarthy, K Nolan; S Murray, E Fennell; D Byrne, MD MacAuley, B Cullen; C Dias, D Connolly, K McManamon.
LAOIS (SF v Down): E Culliton; C Healy, K Lillis, P O’Leary; K Meaney, M Timmons, C Boyle; J O’Loughlin, B Quigley; R Munnelly, C Begley, D Strong; B Sheehan, P Clancy, G Walsh.
WESTMEATH (SF v Derry): G Connaughton; M Curley, K Gavin, K Maguire; D McDermott, M Ennis, B Moran; J Heslin, P Bannon; K Martin, G Egan, R Foley; D Glennon, D Glennon, P Sharry.
WEXFORD (SF v Longford): T Hughes; N Murphy, G Molloy, S Culleton; L Chin, D Murphy, A Doyle; B Malone, R Quinlivan; S Roche, C Lyng, J Holmes; K Rowe, M O’Regan, P Byrne.
OFFALY (SF v Tipperary): 1 A Mulhall; J Gallagher, E Rigney, B Darby (capt); P McConway, J Moloney, D Kelly Edenderry; B Connor, A McNamee; M Brazil, A Keenaghan, G Guilfoyle; B Allen, N Dunne, A Sullivan.
ROSCOMMON (SF v Sligo): G Claffey; S McDermott, N Collins, S Purcell; C Dineen, P Domican, I Kilbride; M Finneran, K Higgins; D Keenan, C Cregg, J Rogers; S Kilbride, E Kenny, D Shine.
DOWN (SF v Laois): B McVeigh; D McCartan, D Gordan, A Branagan; N McParland, B McArdle, C Garvey; A Rogers, K King; D Hughes, M Poland, A Carr; C Laverty, B Coulter, A McConville.