Bryan Keane/INPHO New Galway manager Padraic Joyce.
# big ambitions
Joyce: 'Our aim is to win another All-Ireland – simple as that. Anything less will be an underachievement'
Legendary player Padraic Joyce has recently been appointed as the new Galway football manager.

PADRAIC JOYCE IS confident the Galway county board will resolve their dispute with main sponsors Supermac’s and says the recent negative publicity surrounding the county’s finances won’t affect his role as the new senior football boss.

In an interview with Galway Bay FM, his first since being appointed, Joyce stated his aim is to deliver the Sam Maguire during his tenure as manager.  

“I’m a Galway man by heart and by nature so we want to do our best for Galway,” he said. 

“Our aim is to win another All-Ireland – simple as that. Anything less will be seen as an underachievement.

“I’m obviously delighted and honoured and privileged to be in the position as Galway senior football manager.

“It probably came around very fast for me, and a little bit quicker than I anticipated but the chance came up and I had to put my name in the hat for it.

“Thankfully I was successful and just met the lads at the weekend to do some assessing on them to see where they are at.

“But they are a great bunch of guys and we’ll have a development squad in for the next couple of weeks and we’ll see how we get on with that. First impressions, I’m delighted to be involved.”

Galway reached the All-Ireland semi-finals in 2018 but were dumped out in round 4 of the qualifiers by Mayo this summer.

Two-time All-Ireland winner Joyce takes over from former team-mate Kevin Walsh, who led the Tribesmen for the past five seasons. 

Galway county board have been embroiled in a public dispute with Supermac’s chief Pat McDonagh in recent weeks, but it’s not an issue that concerns Joyce. 

“Not really, there’s a lot of facets to the Galway brand. There’s a lot of publicity out there about different stuff which we have seen, but that stuff that happened – it had nothing to do with Padraic Joyce or Galway football.

“That’s something in the background that happened and a lot of stuff happened two or three years ago which had nothing to do with the current set of players. All I care about is the players really at the end of the day. 

padraig-joyce-celebrates-with-sean-mulkerrin-and-conor-campbell-after-the-game Bryan Keane / INPHO Joyce celebrates with Galway U20 players Seán Mulkerrin and Conor Campbell after the Connacht final in July. Bryan Keane / INPHO / INPHO

“Yes, there were different rows going on with sponsors and we are not going to be stupid and not mention that, but that’s for the county board to sort out with the sponsors and they will sort it out. Pat McDonagh is a good man, and the county board I’ve been dealing with – I see them as good people at the minute and they have been very warm to me. 

“Yes, the process for interviewing candidates probably did drag on a bit longer than anticipated in regards getting candidates names from clubs because a lot of counties would have been back training at that stage as we were looking for a manager. 

“It’s a process we have got to follow. The bad publicity at the minute; it’s going to get better the off-season is in so we have nothing else to talk about and we find stuff to talk about.”

Galway shipped criticism over the past few years due to their defensive style of football and the new boss indicated he’ll opt for a more expansive gameplan which he hopes will strengthen the connection with supporters.

“We just have to catch up to Corofin, they have a great model at their club and they are easy to watch. The good teams are always easy to watch and Dublin football is very easy to watch.

“I understand what you are saying that there does need to be a huge connection between the supporters of a team and the team, but the team in question need to give the supporters loads reasons to go and watch them.”    

shane-walsh Tommy Dickson / INPHO Galway's star forward Shane Walsh. Tommy Dickson / INPHO / INPHO

Joyce plans on taking ideas from various other sports while he wants his side to deliver quick ball into a talented attack that features Shane Walsh and Damien Comer. 

“You always look at successful teams and I would look at a lot of teams that are outside of Gaelic football,” he said. 

“The All Blacks in rugby, the Patriots in NFL. You try and get nuggets out of all of that. You look at football, it has changed but deep down it hasn’t changed a whole lot.

“You still have to score more scores and you have to be fitter and stronger than the team you play. It does get complicated, no doubt it has over the years with defensive systems and that kind of stuff and a manager has to work around that. 

“But at the end of the day you still have to get your 2-16 or 1-17 to win games and that’s what we’ll be training towards and aiming for. Obviously we have to keep it out the far side, and we can’t go back to the galacticos of Real Madrid where it’s ‘you score four, we score five’ obviously, but we have to keep it basic as well.

“A lot of the ‘foot’ has gone out of football as well. I played full-forward for years and would be hoarse after most matches shouting for the ball to come in, and when it didn’t come in I’d be hoarse after the game from shouting at the lads for not kicking it in. I didn’t care how the ball came in, as long as it came in. 

“That’s your thing as a forward, you want to see the ball in early and that’s something we want to improve on here. If it’s slow coming, there’ll be more bodies back there and on the football pitch nothing travels faster than the ball.”

john-divilly Bryan Keane / INPHO UCD manager John Divilly. Bryan Keane / INPHO / INPHO

His backroom team will include two-time Sigerson Cup-winning boss John Divilly, John Concannon and Michéal Ó Domhnaill.

“I have John Divilly who I played with. And believe it or not, we wouldn’t have been the closest buddies over the years. We would have been buddies, and we now work together. I talk to John on the phone for work maybe two or three or four times a day if not five times a day depending.

“John Concannon is involved who is one of the most talented footballers I would have played with up along the line but unfortunately finished his career quick enough, but it’s great to have those two involved.

“Also Michéal Ó Domhnaill is involved as a coach and played against him when he was with Cararroe in the county final in 1999. He would have been a great club player and he has a different dimension coming to us.

“He has that club ethic and he will understand all of the players on that side of Galway as well. So it’s a good mix.”

The 42-year-old added that he will be hoping to create an enjoyable environment for the players.

“I’d be huge on that; I have my own wife Tracey and two young kids as well so you need time with your family. That’s why a lot of our training will be short and snappy.

“I know when I played over the years, some managers trained for two and a half or three hours and you just lose a grá for it. You even just get tired packing the gear bag to go training, so we are going to make in enjoyable.

“We’ll train on Saturday mornings and that will let lads have all day Saturday and Sunday to themselves. If we are playing Sunday’s we won’t train on Saturdays so there will be a huge balance in that.

“We need to have healthy minds and healthy bodies coming towards us, not lads that are tired, because they won’t perform if they are tired.

“We’ll have a balance and we’ll make it balance and we’ll have an enjoyable journey, but at the same time a lot of hard work has to go into it for us to get where we want to go to.”

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