Galway forward Niall Burke has said that Johnny Glynn and Joseph Cooney are “fully integrated” back into the county panel.
Cooney returned from his stint in Australia in April, making an immediate impact for his club Sarsfields with a fine display against Kilnadeema-Leitrim. Meanwhile, Glynn, who is based in New York, has been commuting home to play in the maroon jersey.
Their returns are a major boost to Micheál Donoghue’s side especially given the groin injury to marque forward, Joe Canning.
“They’re back now fully integrated into the panel. A lot of people seem to say they’re only back playing now but they’ve been following their own training programmes up until now individually.
“It’s just a case of getting back in doing some collective training. But they’re in really good shape and ready to go.”
Burke has also praised the Galway management for their handling of players who want to pursue other paths outside of hurling.
“They’re still very much a part of the group albeit they might be in a different part of the world.
“It’s important to support players in other things they want to do outside of hurling and I think the Galway management have been very supportive of that.
“It benefits the team as a whole to know that they have the trust in players to do things outside of sport.”
Canning is expected to miss the Leinster Championship in its entirety but he is still a major part of the squad, according to the All Ireland club winner with Oranmore-Maree.
He also admitted that Canning’s absence has put the onus on the other forwards to perform.
“We’ve a 35-man panel and it gives an opportunity to someone else and at this stage, it’s unfortunate for Joe but we have to move on and the team is only as good as everyone that is on the pitch.
“Yeah he’d be around the dressing room and he’s doing his rehab as well so he’s still very much part of the group.”
The GAA All Ireland Hurling Championship occupies a unique place in Irish Sport and the first two weeks of the Championship have reminded us why anticipation is building in communities right around Ireland on what lies in store for their county team. Centra has teamed up with Clare’s Podge Collins, Galway’s Niall Burke, Cork manager John Meyler and Dublin’s Cliodhna O’Connor, to reveal their passions on and off the pitch.