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'I like to see that passion and I don't think he got overly carried away'

Anthony Nash assesses the future All-Ireland prospects of last weekend’s beaten semi-finalists, Galway and Clare.

Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

HENRY SHEFFLIN’S DEBUT campaign at the helm out west must be considered a success, says Anthony Nash. 

Galway’s championship came to an end in a thrilling All-Ireland hurling semi-final loss against Limerick. Their 2022 finished with a third-place finish in Division 1A, a provincial final and Sunday’s loss. 

“I think Shefflin’s first season has been fantastic. I’d be very proud if I was waking up as a Galway person today. He is doing the right thing with them,” said three-time All-Star Nash. He was speaking on the latest hurling episode of The42′s GAA Weekly podcast.

“I interviewed him after the game yesterday, his humility. 

“I’d nothing to do with it, I threw three questions to him but the way he fielded them and ran with it. I just think it stinks of class. He is bringing what he did on the field to the sideline.

“People might be giving out that he could’ve been sent off, I like to see that passion and I don’t think he got overly carried away. A few decisions worth fighting for. 

“Galway can say to themselves, we ran the All-Ireland champions close and if one or two of those decisions go the other way, that changes the momentum.

“They have a good age profile. Gearóid McInerney was missing. Look at Clare missing their centre-back.”

As for the future, Galway’s underage record is strong. They have contested seven of the last ten minor All-Ireland finals, winning five. Clare on the other hand are without a win in the Munster U20/U21 championship since 2015. Galway have been played in two finals during that period. 

When asked if he is more optimistic for Galway or Clare, Nash said both outfits are in a good place.

“Obviously, you’d prefer to be a Galway person the way the game went but both counties can be proud. I think both sets of players deserve a winter of complements rather than begrudgery.

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“I don’t care about minor or U21 victories really. In 2016, Limerick beat Cork in Páirc Uí Rinn first round of the championship. I came away after watching Mark Coleman, Darragh Fitzgibbon, Luke Meade, Shane Kingston, oh yes. I didn’t care what they won. We were going to have five senior hurlers from that team.

“Shane Meehan and Mark Rodgers obviously haven’t won a U20s game. But Mark Rodgers, I saw him first hand and he is an inter-county class forward. Meehan has shown he has the potential. Both teams have good age profiles. 

“Galway’s age profile, they don’t have too many going over the other side. David Burke for me yesterday was immense. Will he go again? Clare have a young core as well. Who would win an All-Ireland first? I still think Leinster is an easier route. Clare might not get out of Munster next year. It is such a cauldron.

“When you get to the All-Ireland series it is proven maybe that gap isn’t there. But in Leinster, it has been three of four. In Munster, it is any one of five. I’d give Galway the nod but it is a toss of the coin. Both teams are on a good path.”

To listen to the full episode, go to members.the42.ie.

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Maurice Brosnan

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