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Galway Legend Has Strong Feelings On Pearse Stadium Celebrations For Beaten Team

Galway Legend Has Strong Feelings On Pearse Stadium Celebrations For Beaten Team
By Conor Neville Updated

Brendan Lynskey Clarifies Comments On Pearse Stadium Celebrations

The Galway hurlers enjoyed an excellent year. Hammering Dublin and Cork and then pipping Tipperary in a thriller in the semi-final took them to an All-Ireland showdown against Kilkenny, their second of Anthony Cunningham's reign.

But one Galway legend told Balls.ie that he is deeply pessimistic about the future and finds little to celebrate about in 2015.

Brendan Lynskey, centre-forward on the Galway sides that won in '87 and '88, can't hack listening to the well-meaning compliments being showered on the team in the local media. And the notion of a stadium reception for a team that lost almost drives him into apoplexy.

There's a reception for them at Pearse Stadium. Well, you know... for what? What did they win? For fuck sake, like! We lost an All-Ireland final we should have won. And then we've a heroes reception for them!

(Brendan Lynskey today clarified that he does not object to the idea of homecoming, but rather the venue in which it was held - Read those comments here).

Perhaps reflecting on recent experience, he is not expecting Galway to deliver in 2016 and is disdainful of all the talk suggesting that they'll be back to go one better next year. Rather, he anticipates that Tipperary and Clare will come back strong and Galway will have a tough route back to the summit.

I'll be honest with you. I've a worry, I've a worry. I've a deep down worry over where we're going. And Galway Bay FM today like, all the happy go-lookers were shouting in 'well done the seniors, we'll be back next year, we'll win the All-Ireland next year'.

Lookit, it doesn't happen that way. That Kilkenny team was there for the taking. That was an easy All-Ireland to win. All we had to do was do the identical thing in the second half as we did in the first half. And we'd have won that All-Ireland final.

Lynskey said that Galway need to evolve a harder edge.

We have to learn how to grind out a victory. We have to learn to put our bodies on the line when you haven't got your hurl. Stand on the ball, put your head in, we have to do that.

We have to learn this - nice guys win sweet fuck all.

In Lynskey's estimation, Richie Hogan, Walter Walsh and Colin Fennelly failed to fire, but he credits Michael Fennelly with the destruction of Galway in the middle third. What he can't understand is how Fennelly, a man plagued with back injuries for a number of years, can dominate the midfield sector against Galway.

We're training since last January. It's all we hear that we had no worries in training. A man that can't train (Michael Fennelly), how come he was able to finish the fittest man on the field, the strongest man on the field? How come he looked like the guy who'd been training all year, and we looked like guys who'd never togged out before? Because it is all up in the head and that's where we have to get it... We capitulated. We surrendered.

Michael Fennelly destroyed us in the centre. Like in the first half, we sprayed the ball all over the field. We opened up Kilkenny. And in the second half, what did we do? We put everything down the middle. Left an 18 year old inside on his own on the edge of the square with three Kilkenny men around him and pumped high ball in on top of him.

The question of politics bugs him. Specifically, the politics of Galway hurling. The theory has been advanced that rows at club level has militated against cohesion at county level.

He doesn't accept that the ferocity of Galway's (very strong) club championship is to blame for Galway's failure to win an All-Ireland since his playing days. Rather, it is his contention that the players are failing to put petty club rivalries behind them when they line out for the county side.

When we were winning All-Ireland finals it was the same way. I'll tell you what the difference was. When we put on a county jersey, we forgot about our rivalries, we forgot about our differences... these present crop of players. There's been a tendency to bring it into the camp. That's no secret. People know that.

There was definitely a bad taste in the mouth two years ago over certain club players not wanting to mix with other club players. But sure isn't that what the management is there for like? Surely to God like, you either buy into it or get out of it. Or get rid of those players...

Like politics is a big part of playing Galway hurling now. And it's not nice.

When Anthony Cunningham's three year arrangement came to end after the 2014 season, Lynskey, a selector under Ger Loughnane, threw his name into the mix. He will not be doing likewise this year.

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No, because I don't see the point in changing management now, because I think Anthony Cunningham should be left alone. These players owe him as much as they owe the supporters.

Lynskey ends on a very negative note. He doesn't even wait to be asked for his opinion on whether Galway can do one better in 2016.

And will we be back next year? No. We won't. And that's the hard truth of it.

He contends that politics is 'eating into Galway hurling. And unless somebody prints something or does something about it, it ain't going to go away boy.'

Read more: Kilkenny Fans Have Been Getting A Lot Of Stick Over Their Behaviour Yesterday

 

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