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"They'll Never Have A Better Chance" - Cyril Farrell Is Urging Galway Players To Embrace Their All-Ireland Favourite Tags

"They'll Never Have A Better Chance" - Cyril Farrell Is Urging Galway Players To Embrace Their All-Ireland Favourite Tags

The semi finalists in the All-Ireland hurling championship over the last two years have been the same. Before this season, all the previews suggested a clear four team hierarchy. Now, just a couple of months later, Kilkenny, Tipperary and Waterford are in the qualifiers and the season is wide open. Only Galway remain from last year's top table, and their emphatic League Final win over Tipp, along with the shock results so far, have made many people believe this could finally be their year.

While much of the build up to this Sunday's Leinster Final has been dominated by the renaissance in Wexford and the circus following Davy Fitzgerald, Galway will be delighted to be coming under the radar to a final they simply must win.

Galway have failed to win an All-Ireland in 29 years despite appearing in seven finals since their glory days in the 80s under Cyril Farrell., and in that time, they have lost 11 out of 12 Leinster and All-Ireland finals.

But Farrell, who appeared last night on the first episode of Balls.ie's new show "The Hurling Debate", doesn't want the team flying under the radar, and thinks it's time that Galway stepped up to be counted for and embraced the fact that they are the best team in the country and should win the All-Ireland.

Farrell was having none of the idea that they shouldn't consider themselves as the front runners, urging his county to take a leaf out of Kilkenny's book.

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If they (Galway) don't drive on this year with that group of players then I think they'll never have a better chance,

They're trying to come in on the low, kind of under the radar, but I'd say to them, 'Look, as a Galway man, stick your head up, be confident, you're good enough, believe in yourselves.

And if I was the manager, I'd be giving the players no chance to duck under the tapes. They can put their head up and be there to be shot at, but if you're good that's the way it should be.

I was down in Kilkenny a couple of weeks ago and I couldn't believe it. I met a few ex-players and lads close enough to the scene, and OK, they weren't going well, but they firmly believed that they were going to beat Wexford, and they firmly believed that they were going to win the All-Ireland.

They put on the jersey and believe they're going to win, whereas in other counties you're hoping - but at this stage Galway have been around long enough to say, 'Listen, we're big enough now, get out and play our game. OK, let Wexford play their game, but as long as we play ours we're good enough to win it.

Contrary to the optimism, the 1980, 87 and 88 All-Ireland winning manager added that Micheál O'Donoghue's side still have some questions to address, having lost to Wexford earlier in the year despite being well ahead at half-time.

That question mark is still hanging over the Galway team until they win an All-Ireland. On Sunday, they're going to find that they'll be man-marked. There'll be lads on Joe Canning or young Jason Flynn or Conor Whelan, and if they go to the toilet they'll be marked - that's the way Fitzy will have them (Wexford) set up, they'll play with Shane Murphy sweeping and have three or four in midfield.

In the League, Galway were up by six or seven at half-time and playing with a storm in the second-half, and Wexford, to be fair to them, kept coming and coming and coming, working off the shoulders, little hand passes - a bit like football - but in the end, they won the game against a storm in Salthill, which is very strong at that time of the year.

You can watch the full episode of "The Hurling Debate", with Shane Stapleton, Balls.ie Editor Mick McCarthy, and Cyril Farrell below. It includes an in-depth preview of the Leinster Final, a look at the changes needed to Waterford's system, the definition of a "wristy hurler", and lots more.

The Hurling Debate on Balls.ie, in association with Centra, official sponsors of the GAA All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship, will be broadcast every Wednesday night between now and the end of the season. Stay tuned to Balls.ie, and our Facebook and Twitter pages for more details, and get involved in the coversation using the hashtag #WeAreHurling.

 

See Also: 'The Fans Respond To Davy' - How Fitzgerald Has Turned Wexford Into Believers

Gavin O'Callaghan

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