The 25-year-old would love to see the All-Ireland champions host a Leinster game at Pearse Stadium next year although there are concerns that the round-robin provincial proposal may not receive the required 60% support.
“Galway have been looking for Leinster Championship games in a home venue so I’d be delighted if that passed. If you had the likes of Kilkenny coming up to Pearse Stadium ... you’d get a packed house and it’d be fantastic.
“If it is passed, I think it’d be great all round. We’ve been going to Tullamore, Portlaoise for most of our matches and we have contributed to the Leinster Championship and I think it’d be fair if we got a few home games.”
Central Council/Central Competitions Control Committee are also recommending that Galway and any Ulster teams of sufficient strength are entered into the Leinster U21 championship, although Offaly want Galway to play in Munster. Cooney fancies the Leinster suggestion.
“The more competitive games underage teams are playing the better. Maybe just going in towards the latter end of a competition isn’t as good as playing competitive games throughout.
“You’re looking at younger players and looking at development, competitive games are better rather than just going to the latter stages of competitions.
It’d be a big plus for us on the senior side as well if we had a number of guys coming through who are hardened by matches against these Leinster teams.”
The St Thomas man is only beginning to come down from the high of helping to bridge Galway seniors’ 29-year gap since an All-Ireland. “When we got home it was incredible to see the crowds and the emotion. I met a couple of older people — 89 and 90 years of age — and there were tears in their eyes. It really means an awful lot to them.
That’s the really nice part of it.”
Cooney praised the way in which Micheál Donoghue instilled confidence in him — “If he wants you to do a job he lets you know that’s your job, you’re going to be doing it and he’d have faith in you.
Letting you know that he had faith in you, that’s a big thing.”