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Cooney Eager To Tap Into Kieran Donaghy Knowledge

Conor Cooney Kieran Donaghy feature

Galway forward, Conor Cooney, has warmly welcomed the addition of Kerry legend, Kieran Donaghy to the Galway hurling set-up. 

It was announced last week that the four-time All Ireland winner will join Micheál Donoghue’s backroom team in a performance coaching role.

Given his vast level of experience as a player, Cooney is eager to see what he can bring to the Galway side while also admitting that he is eager to pick his brain as a fellow forward.

GAA All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Semi-Final, Croke Park, Dublin 28/8/2016 Dublin vs Kerry Kerry's Kieran Donaghy Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

“It’s great to have him there. He seems like a great guy and a great character, he was involved with a fantastic Kerry team there so, I suppose it’s an outside voice and an outside view and a different perspective on things.”

“I always think that’s a good idea to challenge your own way of thinking and challenge the way you’re doing things and maybe adapt and change. If you don’t you’ll probably become stagnant and ultimately you’ll be beaten.

“So yeah, he’ll be a great guy to have around especially for myself being a forward, I’ll be trying to glean a few gems of wisdom from him throughout the year.”

GAA All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Semi-Final, Croke Park, Dublin 14/8/2016 Tipperary vs Galway Galway's Conor Cooney celebrates scoring a goal Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

Cooney’s involvement with the inter-county squad has been limited given his ongoing commitments with his club, St Thomas’.

Peter Lally’s side are currently preparing for their All Ireland final date with Kilkenny’s Ballyhale Shamrocks in Croke Park on St Patrick’s Day, but they will have to manage without experienced forward, Kenneth Burke. The former Galway minor captain tore his hamstring off the bone during their semi-final win over Cushendall last month, an injury that almost ended the career of Joe Canning back in 2016.

Speaking at the media day ahead of the AIB Club Championship finals, Cooney admitted that Burke has undergone surgery on his hamstring and will miss the decider.

However, the 26-year-old insisted that his absence would only serve as an extra motivator for his side.

“We have a pretty good clean bill of health [otherwise].

“He’ll be a massive loss for us. He’s such a leader there and he has so much experience. He’s so dedicated as well and he’s just trained so hard. It’s disappointing for him but we’ll do our best to get the win and maybe do it for him in a way, it might light a fire under a few lads and get us going.”

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Author: Marisa Kennedy

Marisa is a Digital Journalist with Pundit Arena. You can contact her at [email protected] or on Twitter