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Another Galway Sportsman Has Declared That Galway Sports Teams Are 'A Soft Touch'?

Another Galway Sportsman Has Declared That Galway Sports Teams Are 'A Soft Touch'?
By Balls Team Updated

The phrase 'soft touch' has been flung in the direction of Galway sportsmen many times before. And the most withering critiques have come from inside the county. They haven't always been as restrained as Vinny Faherty.

The Galway United striker has given his hot take on everything that is wrong with Galway sport, believing that it has been "a soft touch" for too long.

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Speaking to the Irish Sun, Faherty lamented the fact that Galway did not have at least thirteen points on the board - they have picked up a highly respectable ten - and in doing so, he revealed a  strong, winning mentality that Faherty believes has been absent from Galway teams in the past:

The tendency with Galway if you look at all the sports is we’re kind of a soft touch. I’m from Galway but I’d agree with it.We underachieve, we’re too nice, we’re too laid-back. Any Galway team I’ve been involved with is kind of the same.

In Galway, people probably read this now and think I’m overly harsh, but look at the talent. How many counties play hurling at a serious level? Galway are always among the best but we haven’t won a Championship since 1988.

And that’s not to have a go at the hurlers. I’d include myself in this but we’re too laid- back, we’re too nice. The talent is there but you need more.This year, I’ve seen a different mentality. We’re more ruthless.

We've heard this before.

In 2011, on the day the Galway hurlers were to play Dublin in the first round of the Leinster championship, three All-Ireland winning heroes from the late 1980s - Brendan Lynskey, Conor Hayes and Noel Lane - launched a stunning attack on the current generation of Galway hurlers.

Lynskey even used the word 'cowardly' when lamenting their then weakness under the high ball.

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Noel Lane, comfortably the mildest of the three former legends, did nonetheless question the hurlers' desire.

I hate ever questioning players but you have to ask do they not have the mental toughness or physical ruthlessness, that savage will to win?

While the hurlers, who are guilty of the cardinal sin of teasing supporters with the promise of success only to fall short on the biggest of stages, have borne the brunt of this kind of rhetoric, the footballers have been targetted too on account of their alleged casualness and lack of ferocity.

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Few can forget Joe Brolly's caustic description of the Galway footballers' approach in the pre-Kevin Walsh era, conjuring up an image of laid-back, easy living westerners devoid of the grim intensity and obsessiveness of the football men in his own province.

Galway, you get the impression from them over the last few years, you know, surfer dudes, modern trad lovers. Not taking their football terribly seriously.

The Galway footballers, who pride themselves on being Connacht's most successful county at All-Ireland level, are in the midst of one of their longest provincial famines. If they fail to win Connacht this year, which, despite a reasonable League showing, is still a probability, then it will be officially longer than their eight-year provincial drought in the late 80s and early 90s.

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Things appear to be looking up for the Galway footballers. They showed little trace of softness during the qualifiers last year, beating Kieran McGeeney's Armagh away from home and then defeating an uber-defensive Derry in appalling conditions in Salthill.

Progress has been incremental but they appear to be hardening up.

The hurlers have played in six All-Ireland finals ('90, '93, '01, '05, '12, '15) since 1988 and lost all of them. The bar room psychologists are ready to condemn them as they have condemned Mayo - as mentally fragile and perennial chokers. But then, there was little sign of a soft touch in last year's semi-final, when they pipped Tipperary in a nerve-jangling finale, or in 2012 when they demolished Kilkenny in a Leinster Final, or 2001, when they intimidated Brian Cody's men into submission in a semi-final.

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In most of the finals, they were simply beaten by a team who were a bit better than them. Indeed, the only one of those post-1988 finals for which it could be truly said that they lost to an inferior team was back in 1990, when they surrendered an eight-point half-time lead against Cork. And labelling those lads 'chokers' becomes complicated when you realise that almost all of them had a couple of All-Irelands already.

And then there is the club success. Galway clubs have been phenomenally successful in the past few decades, with no fewer than six clubs winning All-Ireland titles in the past quarter of a century.

So is Faherty right to say this? There is little doubt that Galway teams - in all sports - have under-achieved for years, but is it due to mental fragility?

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[The Irish Sun]

See Also: What the Kilkenny Hurlers Have In Common With The Beatles

See Also: 'It's Not Dublin's Fault. It's The Quality Of The Opposition'

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