Galway came into the All-Ireland final a battered bunch. There were injuries and niggles throughout the group - especially in defence.
John Hanbury was a serious doubt in the week leading up to the game. Gearóid McInerney looked to still be struggling with the calf injury which had kept him out of the semi-final replay against Clare. Fullback Daithí Burke had ankle trouble.
That replay against Clare was Galway's second of the championship. A second day had also been required to beat Kilkenny in the Leinster final. Including the All-Ireland final, Galway played nine games in this year's championship.
"With the two replays it was hard," Galway captain David Burke told Galway Bay FM.
"Physically, the medical team and all the backroom did a superb job getting lads right.
"There was the mental high from a game, getting down off that maybe by Wednesday, and then on Thursday and Friday getting ready to go for the next game at the weekend.
"That was probably the most demanding thing but it was the same for everyone really all year."
Burke said an ideal championship for Galway would have been one without those replays. Though, that was not used as an excuse by the players.
Recovery has been the buzzword of the summer in both the hurling and football championships. It was particularly key for Galway in the week between drawing with Clare at Croke Park and the replay in Thurles.
It’s all about recovery. The week in between the Clare drawn match and the replay, the bodies were really struggling to get back.
Lads were going 24-7, getting up at 3am to ice legs, hamstrings, calves and bruises, going to the sea twice a day, going to physios twice a day. It was really phenomenal, the stuff lads did to get back on the field for the following week.
It probably did take a toll on the bodies, freshness-wise, but we won’t use it as an excuse, that’s the stuff that goes on behind the scenes. It’s all about getting ready for the next session. No one wants to miss a training session, because you could miss out on starting.
They’ll do what’s needed to get out for training, let alone get on the field for a match. That’s what it was all summer, a rollercoaster and everything feeds into it — your diet, sleep, hydration and all that.
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