New Galway hurling captain Joe Canning is adamant his side will not simply copy Clare in their bid to claim All-Ireland honours in 2014.
Similarities have been drawn between Galway and Clare in recent seasons but Canning rejects the notion that the Tribesmen will follow the style and tactical blueprint set by Davy Fitzgerald’s side this season.
“We’re not trying to copy anyone else. We’re concentrating on ourselves and trying to do what’s best for Galway. If you get into the mindset of trying to copy another county, you’re not going to improve.
“We’ve different type of hurlers to Clare or any other county. We’ll concentrate on what we have and try to get the best out of that.”
Canning takes over the captaincy from Fergal Moore but the Portumna star insists Moore and other senior players will be key leaders next year as Galway bid to bounce back from the disappointment of 2013.
“It was a massive surprise when Anthony (Cunningham) asked me to be captain. It’s big shoes to fill after Fergal for the past two-years but I’ll be looking for him to lead the team as well.
“I’m only 25 and it’s a massive honour. I captained the minors and the U21s as well as Portumna so I do have a small bit of experience but that was only maybe three years in all.”
The three-time All Star admitted: “There probably is added pressure but pressure is a good thing. It depends on what way you look at it. You can either let it get to you or you can challenge it and make it improve you as a player. I want to use it in a good way.”
After winning last year’s Leinster Championship and progressing to an All-Ireland final replay, Galway failed to match those expectations in a less than stellar campaign in 2013.
“We just never really got the confidence up. A few niggly injuries didn’t help. There were no bad-luck stories. We just weren’t good enough.”
Next year’s Championship may be a while away yet but Canning is already hopeful that his side can get back challenging for major honours.
“Galway is a funny county — once you get a little bit of success, people jump on the bandwagon and expect a lot more than what you can give. I suppose supporters don’t have that much to build us up to after what happened this year. The expectation may not be as big but still the pressure is going to be on from a player perspective. We want to deliver.”
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