By the time you read this, Ballincollig’s Noel Galvin will be back in Cork, preparing for his club’s Munster Club SFC semi-final with Austin Stacks in Tralee on Sunday (2pm).


Ballincollig won a first Cork title on October 19, Galvin playing a key role in defence, as he had all year, but on the Friday after that he and his girlfriend Zoe Murphy departed for a holiday in Thailand. Via a crackly Viber line, Galvin relays what the past three weeks have brought.

“We flew out the Friday after the county final,” he said before returning home last night. “I booked it six months ago, not really thinking about the county final, and it just happened it fell when it did. It was lucky enough that I was able to squeeze it all in!

“We went jungle-trekking, it was one of the toughest things I’ve ever done, to be honest. It was roasting as well, it was about 35 degrees. It was good fun though, it wasn’t too bad.

“It was nice to get a bit of a break, I brought a football as well. I’d be kicking around with Zoe and I was running on the beach every morning. I was able to keep some bit fit. You’d nearly get bored after a while so it was a good thing I had this to focus on.”

In one sense, being able to escape the celebrations at home wasn’t a bad thing. “I don’t drink at all, so it was no harm to miss out on a few of the sessions the boys were going on!” he laughed. “In fairness, we went back training on the Thursday after we won the county and straightaway the intensity was back to what it was like before the county final.

“We’ve a lot of leaders in the team and they’ve been driving it on. We have a WhatsApp group with the team, everything goes up on that, so it was good to be able to stay tuned in on what’s going on. Training has been going well.”

Having strived for so long to win the Andy Scannell Cup, Ballincollig aren’t ready to rest on their laurels, however.

“That’s exactly the point of view of the fellas,” Galvin said. “Everyone knows winning the county was a big thing but we all want to give this a crack. We don’t get here too often and we’re representing Cork as well, so we want to make sure we give a good account of ourselves.”

In Stacks, they come up against a side coming off a first county in 20 years. That nullifies any advantage in terms of experience of this stage, and Galvin doesn’t believe the venue will have an effect either.

“The support we’ve had this year has been absolutely unbelievable,” he said.

“With the amount we bring to our matches, it’ll be like a home game for ourselves. What really drove that home was in the county semi-final against Nemo. That’s when we realised the support we were getting and we get that everywhere we go. Having to travel doesn’t really bother us.”

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