Comer learns his lessons as he gears up for final

Pic: Eóin Noonan

If Galway football captain Damien Comer was interested in keeping his head down ahead of the Connacht final, he probably couldn’t have taken a worse summer job.

Comer is due to kickstart his full-time teaching career in September but before then he will be working as a barman in one of Galway’s most popular pubs — Taffees Bar. 

But the Annaghdown man says he is happy to take the stick from visiting supporters and chat football all day with the locals.

“You treat it with a pinch of salt, you have Mayo, Roscommon, and a few of the Dubs as well. I was working when there was a few of them around so you’d have a bit of banter. You have to be able to have the craic,” said 24-year-old Comer.

“Padraig Lally, who is running it, has been very flexible, I needed a part-time job and with football it is not easy to get a job that is so flexible around training. But he has been very good in there and he works around my schedule.

“It’s great, it tops up the bank account weekly and it’s all needed. It’s a way of socialising as well other than being out.”

It seems like much longer than four years ago since Comer made his championship debut for Galway, but since his clash with Mayo’s Colm Boyle that day, Comer has come a huge way in physical and footballing terms.

“It’s more genetics than anything,” he revealed.

“I wouldn’t be a huge fan of the gym by any means, I’d rather not go if I had the choice!

“This year I have taken a backward step [in terms of the gym]. I try and focus and bit more on cardiovascular and get more mobile around the pitch. 

Even the end of last year I had a lot of injuries and ended up doing more gym work. And I nearly got too bulked up and then when it came to the championship I felt I was lagging a small bit.

This time last year Comer could well have been running around with his hurling colleagues as they plotted their way to a first All-Ireland in 29 years. 

He is also a talented hurler and was approached by Micheál Donoghue to link up with the hurlers for a spell.

“We had a brief discussion. I played a bit of club hurling at home, we are intermediate. Last year I only played one hurling game because my commitment with Galway and we are in a relegation battle and I played the last game and that was it.

“It’s not feasible in today’s age. I’m happy out where I am I have barely enough time to do what I’m doing and I’m enjoying what I’m doing at the moment. 

"Hopefully, we can have a successful campaign. When you see the likes of Podge Collins, Aidan Walsh, Eoin Cadogan doing both.... most of them have been sidelined for a few weeks or months with injuries. 

"So it’s just not feasible to play both.”

Elsewhere, Paul Conroy replaces Peter Cooke in what is the sole change to the decider.

GALWAY (Connacht SFC final v Roscommon):

R Lavelle; D Kyne, SA Ó Ceallaigh, D Wynne; C Sweeney, G Bradshaw, S Kelly; P Conroy, T Flynn; E Brannigan, S Walsh, J Heaney; I Burke, D Comer, B McHugh.

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