Experienced defender Fergal Moore says Galway must learn from the mistakes of previous All-Ireland final losses if they are to bounce back in 2016.
Following the final defeats of 2001, 2005 and 2012, the Tribesmen failed to progress beyond the quarter-finals the following summer.
Galway hurling cannot afford another hangover in 2016, another non-summer, the 33-year old insisted.
Moore, who saw only three-minutes of action on Sunday, revealed his intention to return next year in the hope that Galway will finally “put it all together”.
“We always have the talent, it’s just a matter of putting together a strong, consistent year,” said Moore in the lobby of the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel yesterday morning.
“We’ve been down this road before. We were there in 2012 and we stood here in the hotel the morning after and said we’d be back the next year. That’s easy to say. But it took us three years to get back there. We have to come back down to earth. We had a fairly good year but we still have no silverware to show. We have to regroup now and set our sights on next year again.
“We have to drive on from here because we’ve been down this road many times before in Galway and we haven’t driven on. I think it’s time we learnt the lessons now.
“I suppose it’s the million dollar question [why Galway haven’t pushed on in the year after losing an All-Ireland]. All you can do is try to analyse the things that went wrong and try to put them right. I don’t have the answer to that but I do know there’s another year coming next year and the cup will be up for grabs again. Everybody starts out the same and it’s up to us to rise to the challenge. We saw the benchmark again on Sunday, we seen it two years now and that’s the level we have to get to and to get past.
“Everyone that starts training in October or November thinks they have a team good enough to win the All-Ireland. But we’re kind of sick of hearing in Galway that we will win an All-Ireland. I’m a long time with the team and we have a team good enough to win it every year but yet we haven’t won it. We have to deliver on the talent that we have. It’s about being consistent and that’s one thing we have to focus on for next year.”
Ger Loughnane was critical of the lack of leadership shown by Galway’s big-name players on RTÉ’s The Sunday Game. Moore refusing to be drawn on the comments. Instead, he cited the leadership provided by Kilkenny’s key men in the second half and believes Galway’s cohort of young players — Johnny Glynn, Cathal and Pádraic Mannion, Jason Flynn, John Hanbury and Conor Whelan — will learn from Sunday’s experience.
“You just have to take your hats off to Kilkenny, their leaders really stood up. Even in the first half, when they were under pressure, their big-name players stood up and got their hands on ball, they won frees, tipped over points, things that didn’t seem all that important at the time but looking back they were very important. I think it was just their knowledge of how to grind out a performance on the day. They never panicked, they stuck to what their game-plan was, they regrouped at half-time and neutralised us in the second half. We were beaten by a better team.
“We’re young and inexperienced as a team. The only way you get experience is to earn it on the front line. We had a lot of young fellas playing but this team will be back. There’s an awful lot of good hurlers in the team and it’s just a matter of trying to blend that in with experience because you’re not going to win with old lads and not going to win with young lads. Kilkenny have that blend right for a number of years and it’s up to the rest of us to follow suit.”
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