Galway midfielder Tom Flynn believes his side are in a better place to win at Croke Park against Tipperary tomorrow because of the failings of 2015.
The 24-year-old Athenry clubman scored a point as Galway crashed out with a 3-12 to 0-11 defeat to Donegal in their Round 4 qualifier at headquarters last year.
But Flynn, who made his championship debut against Meath in 2011, has been inspiring at the heart of Galway’s drive to a first Connacht title since 2008, and insists the team has learned from last year’s mistakes.
“Against Donegal we were probably sitting back a lot and weren’t breaking at pace. We were caught playing it too safe but now we are starting to break with pace.
“We have plenty of legs to tear down the field and that’s what we will be hoping to do.
“We are a traditional style team and we are excited about playing in Croke Park.
“Making the right options is our biggest downfall really. The game management in the last five minutes against Roscommon in the first game when we were two points up, that let us down.
“We would have felt that we left that one behind us but now we hope that we can take the right options,” he said.
After two All-Ireland U-21 wins in 2011 and 2013 Galway had still struggled in Connacht up until this year.
But Flynn’s partnership with Paul Conroy in midfield has been the driving force for the Tribesmen and Flynn scored a goal as they scored a landmark victory over Mayo in the Connacht semi-final.
The 11-point win over Roscommon in the replayed Connacht final underlined their potential. And Flynn says there is a well-rounded team now that can take on the best in the All-Ireland series.
“Over the years with Galway, there has been a lot of off the cuff stuff so we are trying to put plans in place. We just have to keep sticking to the plans that Kevin Walsh has put in place and we will be in good stead if we do that.
“With Paul Conroy going forward he is probably one of the best kick-passers that I have seen in the game. He is capable of finding a man or scoring from long range. So with him anything is possible.
“The new full-back-line are probably under a watchful eye this year. In the league we probably let a few games get away from us.
“But we had 11 weeks between our last league and Mayo and we made a lot of headway there. There is a bit of steel in the backline now. The lads are throwing themselves around the place and it sets us up well.
“And we have a few game-changers inside with Danny Cummins, Damien Comer and Gary Sice, and they make the difference.”
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