It doesn’t get any easier since Sunday, a heavy defeat from the rivals is hard to take but we will just have to get on, get over it and look forward to Monaghans visit down to the ‘whest’ this Sunday.
Reaction on home soil has been far from happy after Sundays poor performance, The Connacht Sintenel leading with the headline : “Alarm Bells Ring for Galway”. The paper goes on to talk about how Big Joe wont be under any illusions following Galways heavy defeat in Castlebar, stating that the size of his task with Galway has finally hit home. We where a team on Sunday playing with a lack of belief, they had no one to look up to on the field, does it come down to PJ’s absence?. I would see that as nothing more than an excuse, what ever will we do when Joycer calls it a day?. Galway where without Joyce on Sunday, along with the Corofin players who are on club duty. But we most remember that Mayo where down on players too(notably Conor Mortimer), so that statement isn’t really valid either.
This defeat will hurt these bunch of players and maybe it is a reality check to ourself and the players who navely thought, under Kernan’s guidance we will be ‘there or there about come September’ and after Sunday it has finally hit home that it wont turn around that fast. It very easy to get carried away with your chances when a manger of Joe Kernans calibre comes into the ring but now we know what it takes. I am sure as there is sand in the Sahara that this defeat will hurt the players, remember last year how Galway where going so well in the league, cruising against Mayo in Tuam Stadium, only for our neighbours to come back into the match. In truth the players never really recovered after that day and the season just spiraled downwards from there. I hope it’s not the same this year after Sunday but I am confident that Kernan can get the boys regrouped and refocused come Championship time. In all honesty the league does not really have much concern in my mind, it would be nice to win it, but its a time to try new players in new positions too and as long as the boys do not get relegated to division 2 then the league may have served its purpose for us this season.
Galway need to pick themselves up quickly if they are to stay in this, most unforgiving of divisions where the likes of Kerry, Dublin, Tyrone and Cork all lie in wait to get a scalp at us. If we don’t turn around our ways quickly then we well could be on our way to Division two of national league football next year, a disaster in its own right. I can very much imagine John O’Mahonys delight after Sundays win, 10 players of his starting line out scored, which is impressive showing and the fact that he has four away national league games to come will undoubtably please him to pick up the points at home.
After the game in Castlebar, Kernan was understandably disappointed by the outcome “They were probably the only three or four players who stood up, which is disappointing, but it is our first game. If you wanted a reality check, well I’m sure the Galway people will settle down and say there’s a lot of work to do here.” And what a reality check it was!
So we look forward to Sunday to see how the Tribesmen react after the defeast against Mayo when they play Monaghan in Pearse Stadium (and hopefully take some of the attention away from that day we would rather forget).