Seán Armstrong: Coming back a risk I was willing to take

Sean Armstrong

Seán Armstrong never thought he’d see a day like Sunday again having stepped away from Galway in late 2014.

The 31-year-old, recalled to the panel last December, had lost his “grá” for the game.

Then Kevin Walsh came calling having seen him kick six points, four from play, for Salthill-Knocknacarra in the county final defeat to Corofin. 

He produced another half a dozen in Sunday’s Connacht semi-final against Mayo but this time in victory in a man-of-the-match display.

Not his wildest dreams could he have imagined it when he quit the panel.

“I would be lying to you if I said I didn’t. I was not involved last year. I have a good relationship with Kevin and I was always in contact with him, Brian Silke, Sean Conlon and the boys. 

"They dropped me a text and asked if I fancied meeting for a coffee before Christmas. I have said it before, it’s old news. I said that I would, but I was guaranteed nothing, I knew I had to work hard because the competition is rife in there.”

Armstrong accepts it was a punt coming back. 

“I knew I was taking a risk, but it was one that I was willing to take; high risk, high reward, you know.

“I had a terrible start to the league and I was probably wondering ‘what am I after doing?’

“With Kevin, there was constant communication and after I came off once or twice he said to me ‘don’t worry, you are just not up to the speed of it yet’. It is a bit like coming off a regular road and getting back onto a motorway and there are cars just whizzing by.

“It took me a while to get up to the pace and when you are over 30 it is a little bit harder to get up to it, but thankfully I am getting there.”

Armstrong showed well in general play on Sunday and his placed ball kicking was of the highest quality particularly into the wind.

“You have to give credit to Barry McHugh. He is a dead ball specialist and then you have (Micheal) Meehan in there kicking frees.

“You have Shane (Walsh) who can kick frees and I was lucky enough to be asked if I would take them. I said, ‘Yeah’.

“We have loads of free-takers on the team and if it was not going well for me, I would just hand over to Shane and vice versa.

“I was just feeling good and Kevin asked me if I fancied taking them and I was happy enough to take them.”

ROSCOMMON (SFC v Leitrim): C. Lavin; D. Murray, J. McManus, N. McInerney; S. McDermott, S. Mulloly, C. Devaney; T. O’Rourke, E. Smith; F. Cregg, N. Kilroy, B. Stack; C. Murtagh (c), D. Murtagh, D. Smith.

Subs: D. O’Malley, B. Murtagh, C. Connolly, C. Compton, D. Rooney, G. Patterson, H. Walsh, I. Kilbride, R. Stack, S. Killoran, T. Featherston.


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