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03rd Jul 2017

Conor Cooney’s WhatsApp tale tells you exactly why Galway are justified All-Ireland favourites

Hard to believe

Niall McIntyre

They may have won only their second Bob O’Keefe Cup on Sunday, but Galway aren’t getting carried away.

If anybody had an excuse to get carried away after Galway’s win, it was Conor Cooney with the St Thomas’ club man raising no fewer than seven white flags from play and giving a first class exhibition in forward play.

Cooney was given one of the most undisputed man-of-the-match awards in quite a while after his swashbuckling display of point taking from all sorts of angles in Croke Park.

Surely, surely to God, the Galway boys were celebrating until late in the night after their triumph.

No, they weren’t as GAA Hour Hurling Show host Colm Parkinson found out on Monday morning as he tried to get the man of the moment on the show.

Judging by Conor Cooney’s Whatsapp habits, the celebrations paled in comparison to the manner of their impressive victory.

“A funny enough one this morning, I was texting you to come onto the show and your Whatsapp said last seen at 9:00 this morning and Joe Canning was the same because I was onto him looking for your number. It musn’t have been too late a night if you were up at 9:00 this morning,” said Parkinson.

Cooney’s response spoke of a man, and a squad, who have tunnel vision. From the word go this year, Galway’s eyes have been firmly fixated on one thing and one thing only, and that’s lifting their first Liam MacCarthy since 1988.

“We’re staying grounded, we’re not getting carried away. A lot of lads have a Leinster title before. Look we’re absolutely delighted to win a Leinster title, it’s a huge thing but we’re keeping grounded, we’re being sensible. We’re looking forward to an All-Ireland semi-final now and please God we might get over that. There was nothing crazy last night.

The 24-year-old claimed that Galway will have their heads down for the next four weeks in the build-up to their All-Ireland semi-final and no matter who the opponents are, the men from the West will be ready to go.

“You’d be watching them all because you’d be thinking who we could come up against and what the permutations are. We’ll have a round of club games this weekend coming and really you’ve only 4 weeks then because the last week you’ll be doing nothing. In reality, it’s only three hard weeks of training which isn’t actually a lot when you think about it. We’ll put in three hard weeks, we’ll see who we have and we’ll do our homework on them. In reality, though, you can only focus on yourself, so that’s what we’ll do,” said Cooney.

On his seven points, Cooney replied with the typical modesty of a modern inter-county player.

“We were just thinking about the simple things really, just getting the mind right. It just broke for us on the day. It opened up a bit in the second half and we managed to get a good few scores and managed to keep on top, so happy days,” claimed the Galway target man.

“We put high ball in for a lot of it and put them under pressure. It was tit-for-tat for most of the first-half, I think we came out in the second half and they’re tough running game might have taken its toll on them. It was hot, it was a clammy humid day, that might have been a factor for them. In the second half, we got on top, we got a run on them and I think they found it difficult to get back at us.

“We’re saying all year that consistency is something we really want to develop, to get into our game. It’s something we’ve done this year. We’ve a semi-final to look forward to now, and I suppose it’s no good being consistent if you’re not hurling at the peak time.

They’re definetely the team to beat.

Listen to the Cooney interview here from 6″00′.

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