Talking Sport with Stephen Glennon
NEW Gaelic Players Association (GPA) President David Collins insists his former Galway team-mates must launch into this Sunday’s Leinster SHC showdown against Wexford with “the right attitude” or, otherwise, they could come undone against an ever-improving Wexford side.
With Davy Fitzgerald having once trained Collins and his native Liam Mellows, he says one thing Davy Fitz’ brings to any set-up is “energy and absolute craziness”. “He is wired,” says Collins, who was elected to the high-profile position of GPA President in March. “And he gets that into a player.
“You could also see that when he was in Clare. There was massive energy there, a massive buzz around the place, and when you get on that wave, and when supporters get behind a team, anything can happen. And you can see it in Wexford now.”
Indeed, Collins, who, in 2010, was on only the second Galway side to defeat Wexford in a hurling championship fixture out of their nine previous meetings, says he is not surprised the Model County has come to the fore so quickly under Fitzgerald.
Consequently, Galway will be facing a very different Wexford outfit than they did in 2010 – not only in personnel, but also in mindset. “That was a totally different Wexford team from what it is now. The only reason I say that is because of Davy Fitzgerald and the impetus he has brought.
“You can see the Wexford lads have now this reassured confidence in themselves. The last 10 years in Wexford hurling (senior level) has been shockingly bad and then the next thing they come out of nowhere. It is just belief.
“They are getting positive encouragement; they have massive training behind them; and they are working to a game-plan they never had before. So, you can’t really compare between 2010 and now. You have to just take them on their merit on the games they have played over the last while.”
In this respect, he says Galway must exercise caution, particularly as Wexford have already got the upper-hand on the Tribesmen in the National Hurling League this year while victories for Fitzgerald’s troops over Kilkenny in both league and the Leinster championship should not be under-estimated.
“Micheal (Donoghue) is surely going to address that and I think lads will be a lot more tuned in than maybe they were earlier on in the league. I would strongly favour Galway here as long as they are going in with the right attitude. I think they will with Micheal. He won’t be letting them get ahead of themselves.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.