Former Galway hurling manager Anthony Cunningham has been highly impressed with the Galway hurlers so far this year.
Cunningham, who was controversially removed from his position in the winter of 2015, was speaking on the Racing Post‘s podcast.
He led Galway to a Leinster title in 2012, and two All-Ireland finals in 2012 and 2015. However, the Tribesmen were unsuccessful both years, albeit the first final went to a replay.
Now back to the stands as a Galway supporter, Cunningham has been impressed with Galway so far in 2017.
He is worried that they are yet to be tested however.
“I think they’re doing very very well, they’re beating everything that’s put in front of them, with ease.
“The slight worry is that they wouldn’t be getting closer games really, and to test their defence in particular. But I mean they are hurling with a lot of fluency, with a lot of confidence and have matured massively I think right through the pitch.
“It’ll take a good team to beat them. A team to beat Galway now would have to be on their game really. (They) probably won’t get tested to the level that they’d want to until a Leinster final because they should have enough armour to dispose of Offaly quite easily.”
One particular player to impress Cunningham was Conor Whelan. Whelan was brought into the Galway side as an 18-year-old by Cunningham.
“Conor, physically, has got very strong since (2015).
“He definitely had a lot of style and a lot of dash for an inside forward, really wanted to be getting on the ball and wanted to be taking on his man and wanted to be scoring really.”
“But it’s now Conor’s third year there, so in a very short period of time, he has matured massively. He has the guile really and the eye for goal, and the eye for taking on his man”
Galway have become favourites for the All-Ireland since Tipperary’s defeat to Cork. With Offaly up next, they are hot favourites to reach a Leinster final. This looks to be Galway’s best chance of glory in a number of years.
Kevin Daly, Pundit Arena
Hat-tip: Racing Post