Galway, relegated last year, are keen to get back to the top flight and head into the summer with a pep in their step with genuine notions that they might end their All-Ireland famine.
Thoughts of silverware will not occupy too much of Offaly’s forward planning. New manager Kevin Ryan issued a plea to supporters to be realistic and patient.
“There is a gulf in class but all we can try and do is aspire to get there, whether it takes six months, a year, or six years, it is just aim for that and keep doing what we are doing,” he said, adding that “it is going to take a lot of time, it’s about being patient”.
“Patience is the thing. To be fair to those lads we have there they are trying to do the right thing.
“We are trying to focus on down the road. Any of our aims are two or three years away and that’s not good enough for some of the Offaly public but that’s where it is. You can’t just turn something like that overnight.
“You would probably like to see more fellas willing to play. I often said it to the lads themselves that if Waterford looked for 50 to come in in the morning, they’d have 50.
"They’d be queuing up to come in, they are starting to smell success. We struggle to get 30 for a game, that’s the reality of it,” said the Waterford native.
This was Galway’s biggest ever win over Offaly in 39 meetings — and it was wrapped up by the interval. They led by 4-9 to 1-8 having played against a strong wind.
Full-forward Jason Flynn hit 2-7 in that half, with Conor Whelan and captain David Burke also finding the net.
Sean Cleary fired home an Offaly goal but they failed to score from play in the second half, with Shane Dooley’s four frees all they could offer.
Nine Galway players found the range, with Whelan getting a second goal and Brian Molloy netting the sixth. The outstanding Conor Cooney shot 0-6, five from play.
“It’s good to get started,” said Galway manager Donoghue. “I know the scoreline is emphatic enough but there are still areas, particularly in the second half, that we would like to work on.
“Next week is a big week for us, Wexford coming to Galway. They have been doing very well and it will be a big challenge but we are looking forward to it. But it is still very early days.”
J Flynn (2-10, 8 frees); C Whelan (2-0); C Cooney (0-6, 1 free); D Burke (1-1); B Molloy (1-0); J Cooney (0-3); A Tuohy, N Burke, J Coen (0-1 each).
S Dooley (0-8 frees); S Cleary (1-1); C Kiely (0-2); S Ryan (0-1).
C Callanan; M Donohoe; J Hanbury, P Killeen; A Harte, A Tuohy, G McInerney; J Coen, D Burke; D Glennon, J Cooney, P Flaherty; C Whelan, J Flynn, C Cooney.
B Molloy for Flaherty (28), S Maloney for Whelan (51), M Conneely for Harte (51), N Burke (0-01) for Glennon (51), T Monaghan for Flynn (60).
J Dempsey; P Rigney, M Cleary, D Maloney; A Treacy, C Doughan, B Conneely; P Murphy, C Kiely; S Dooley, S Gardiner, E Nolan; S Ryan, O Kelly, S Cleary.
P Camon for Maloney (36), D Shortt for Rigney (36), J Mulrooney for Nolan (36), P Geraghty for Kelly (54), T Carroll for Cleary (59).
C Lyons (Cork)
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