All-Star Galway defender Padraic Mannion has confirmed that All-Ireland winning colleague Jonathan Glynn will be available for their defence of the Liam MacCarthy Cup.
Powerful forward Glynn didn’t feature at all in the Allianz League, prompting recent reports that he could miss the Championship.
The Ardrahan man lives and works in New York and started just one game last summer — the All-Ireland final win over Waterford — because of his situation. But he returned home to play for his club in the first round of the Galway SHC last weekend.
And according to Mannion, Glynn is fully committed to his county too and will aid their defence of the Leinster and All-Ireland titles this summer.
“I saw a headline alright in one of the papers saying he wasn’t coming back and I don’t know where they got it out of,” said Mannion.
“It was the complete opposite to what was true. He’s a massive addition on and off the field, even off the field he’s great to have around the dressing room.”
“There was a lot of travelling for him but if any man could do it, Jonny could do it. He never made an excuse even with all the training, he just got on with it and that’s just Jonny through and through.”
Mannion said he’s equally delighted that highly-rated trainer Lukasz Kirszenstein is sticking with the group having been linked with Munster rugby earlier in the year.
“It was like the Jonny Glynn story, I don’t know where they get these stories from,” continued Mannion.
“He’s great, he knows the players inside and out now so it’s great to have him on board again. It’s small margins I suppose, and Lukasz has had success with other teams as well.”
Mannion said he’s happy with where Galway are at as they approach the Championship despite missing out on an anticipated promotion in Division 1B of the league.
“Confidence isn’t an issue at the moment,” he insisted. “Last year, winning the league did set us up for the summer and it brought confidence into the group but we still have confidence in our own ability, we have confidence in the management team behind us and we have confidence in what we are doing on the training ground.
“I know we didn’t progress in the league like we did last year but you get massive confidence from what you do in training, putting in the hard work and knowing what you have done.”
Galway open their Leinster championship campaign in Tullamore on May 12 against Offaly.
Then they have a free weekend before three games on successive weekends against Kilkenny, Wexford and Dublin.
Mannion said that the jump into the unknown will probably be the most difficult thing about defending their All-Ireland crown this summer.
The high fielding defender said: “The new Championship format is a bit of an unknown for everyone. It’ll be interesting to see how it pans out. With the championship not being knock-out, I heard people talking about the Munster championship and saying they hoped the bite wouldn’t go out of Munster.
"And I suppose with games week on week, if you pick up an injury or a dead leg, you could miss a game or two so the panel is going to come into play an awful lot.”
Meanwhile, Dublin footballer James McCarthy has played down fears about a fresh hamstring injury as the All-Ireland holders gear up for the championship.
McCarthy was forced to come off late in the first-half during Dublin’s league final win over Galway.
But the five-time All-Ireland winner said: “It’s good now. I got a light enough injury so I hope to play this Saturday for the club. I might train tonight (Thursday). It was a light strain, not too bad.
"I’ve been great all year, it was just something that came out of the blue. Unfortunately it was bad timing but not the worst timing either I suppose in terms of being okay for the summer.”
Dublin will play Offaly or Wicklow in the Leinster championship on the last weekend of May. It’s been reported that Tullamore will host the game if Dublin play Offaly and Portlaoise will be the venue if it’s Dublin versus Wicklow.
McCarthy said he’d have no problem going to Aughrim to play Wicklow, despite its mere 7,000 capacity.
“We’d love to go but they’re kind of giving out about the size or something,” said McCarthy.
“Maybe it’s the demands of the fans or something like that but we’d love to go down there. Wherever we’re told, we’ll play. But we’d enjoy that as well, definitely.”
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