2017 has already been a remarkable year for Galway hurling. After an All-Ireland double at minor and senior, the Tribesmen could be excused for thinking things couldn’t get much better.
However, it has been announced today at the GAA’s Special Congress that they will be granted two wishes that they were crying out for in recent times.
Since their introduction to Leinster in 2009, they have not had a true ‘home’ game, playing in the nominated venue of Tullamore. With the restructure, it has been announced that they have gotten their wish, and play two games a year in Pearse Stadium.
Perhaps more significantly, their wish to be accommodated in the Leinster U-21 Championship has also been granted, along with one Ulster team. Offaly’s motion to block this and divert Galway into Munster was defeated.
The Tribesmen, each year, have been inserted into the All-Ireland semi-finals of the competition. Although this has led to success at the grade, it has hindered their ability to play more games at a developmental stage for players.
This was something which Joe Canning bemoaned when speaking to Pundit Arena earlier this year.
“Of course they are [at a disadvantage]. For the development of hurling in the west of Ireland, we’re at a serious serious disadvantage that we only get into the minor and u21 championships at the semi-final stage. Realistically, there’s no development going on at county level for the last number of years.”
The U-21 All-Ireland semi-finals will remain, with two Leinster and two Munster teams taking part.
Make sure to check out the latest episode of The 16th Man, where we chat to Jackie Tyrrell, and discuss of universities should be allowed to compete in club championships.