Galway footballer Johnny Hughes has watched closely as the current
crop of tribesmen blossom under the leadership of manager Alan Mulholland.
It is fair to say that the Galway footballers are going through
something of a transition period at the moment as new players are
being blooded into the side. An opening day league win over Derry
was impressive and Johnny was there to see the performance first
hand and although he feels that the side is heading in the right
direction, he has called for more urgency in their play.
Alan has brought in a lot of young lads and in fairness they
are doing well. This a big year for him and the team as he tries
to mould them all together, but there is one area that they need
to work on and that is their work rate, said Johnny, who lined
out for Galway in three All-Ireland senior football finals, but
unfortunately was on the losing side on each occasion.
Johnny takes his place first from the left, seaated in the Galway
that lined out in the 1974 All-Ireland football final
I know they are a young team, but in my opinion, if you're
good enough, you're old enough and the 'young team' phrase is being
used as an excuse. In the modern game, you can't let opponents have
time on the ball, it is all about harrowing and harassing the opposition
and I feel Galway don't do that enough.
Johnny also feels that the basic skills of the game have been neglected
in recent years. In one sense it is very sad to see the style
of play adapted by most county teams now. Maybe, there is too much
of an emphasis on the fitness side of things now.
It is gone to the stage where a lot of players can't kick
with both feet, which shouldn't be the case. You don't see long
passes from the boot as much as you used too, most teams opt for
a running game, but no matter how fast they are, they will never
be as fast as the ball, he enthused.
The Galway side that lost to Dublin in the 1983 All-Irleand final.
Johnny is seated second from right
Ahead of the new campaign, Galway suffered a double blow with the
news that both Joe Bergin and Padraig Joyce retired from inter-county
football and Johnny feels that this has been a huge setback for
To lose players of their calibre would be felt in any county.
They have been magnificent servants over the years. Padraig Joyce
has been one of the best forwards to ever play football and he deserves
every accolade he receives.
One of the various tyes of machinery that Pat O'Donnell supplies
Joe too, has been a massive player for Galway and to be honest
at 31 years of age, I had hoped he would have played for another
year or two as I don't think Galway have replaced him in midfield.
Hopefully Galway can overcome these losses and move forward. There
is plenty of talent in the county and let's hope it's not too long
before they are back battling for silverware.
For over 30 years now, Johnny has worked as a Sales Rep for Pat
O'Donnell & Co, which provides heavy machinery and construction
equipment. The company was established in 1970 by Pat O'Donnell,
who is a huge supporter of Clare GAA and has been the county hurlers
main sponsor for many years.