Sky Sports analyst Peter Canavan reacts to Jim McGuinness’ return to the inter-county scene, after the 2012 All-Ireland winning manager oversaw a Galway training session.
When the news emerged that Jim was back at home again, it was inevitable that he was going to get involved in an inter-county team.
It’s no surprise that his services have been called upon at the top level, and it goes without saying that he is going to add to whatever set-up he is involved with.
I think Galway will be very keen to get him on board more frequently, rather than just on a one-off training session. If he comes on board for the duration of the season, he would be a massive asset to this Tribesmen set-up.
Some commentators have noted a possible difference in philosophies between that of McGuinness and Galway manager Padraic Joyce.
But Jim is not coming in at this late stage of the year to dictate to Joyce about what is the best way to play this group of players.
Padraic will know the players better than that. But what McGuinness can do, and he’s proven before, is that he gets the best out of players.
If he can get the Galway players to up their game, if every player were to improve one per cent in their mindset or the way they approach the games, then it is hugely beneficial to have him.
So I think it’s a case of him improving the mindset, and we’ve seen that with the drill that was seen in the footage.
Galway are a young side. Some might say naive. And so by Jim being involved, I think it bolsters their chances this season.
Nonetheless, the benefit of this latest addition to the coaching team could be cancelled out by the absence of their captain and marquee forward Shane Walsh.
If the Kilkerrin-Clonberne man is not available for the National League, which looks likely, they will be up against it to win the title.
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I was impressed with them earlier in the year. Up front it is obvious Joyce is getting the best out of the personnel, and he is playing a more free-flowing type of football. The challenge will be defensively, will he be able to tighten up his defence when they come up against better opposition?
If Galway get a run and come out of Connacht, they will certainly be a match for anyone.
The Tribesmen face Mayo this Sunday, and have the opportunity to relegate their old rivals.
But I think it will be difficult to read much into their performance. Galway don’t need the points on Sunday. Mayo most certainly do. So I think from Mayo’s perspective, it’s a bigger game.
Similar to Donegal and Tyrone this weekend, more important fixtures will be coming in the championship a few weeks later.
Redeveloped Casement Park ‘a long time coming’
It would be remiss not to mention the news about Casement Park this week.
The stadium’s re-build is a long time coming.
For anybody that knows Casement Park or who has played there, in the heart of west Belfast, it has been an eye-sore in recent years. At last the news has been met with great relief and joy.
Belfast and Antrim need a modern stadium for the GAA to be proud of. The sooner that it goes up and is used, the better.
It will do football in Ulster, and particularly in Antrim, the world of good. It is badly needed.
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