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12th Jun 2021

Pádraic Joyce’s Galway may be going through an “identity crisis”

Lee Costello

“I would be a little bit concerned about Pádraic Joyce at the moment.”

In GAA terms, COVID-19 and lockdown has probably had a worse effect on Galway than on any other footballing county. At the beginning of the 2020 season, they were absolutely flying on all cylinders and looking like a real force, but subsequent pandemic impact has appeared to knock the Tribesmen completely off course.

When play did return for the 2020 season, many were excited to see Pádraic Joyce’s side pick up where they left off, and actually compete with the usually dominant Mayo. However, the wheels looked to have come off and they were dismantled by their old foes.

Discussing the matter on the GAA Hour, Colm Parkinson said: “I don’t want to be hard on Pádraic Joyce, he’s an ex-teammate of mine in Tralee and I really like Pádraic. But, I would be a little bit concerned about him at the moment,

“They come out playing this great football and there was great combination play – Comer in centre forward, Walsh in the full forward line, lovely diagonal balls into Walsh, lay-offs, combinations, you can see that this was good football.

“Then lockdown happened, they got hammered by Mayo and got a fright, so they went to Mayo in the Connaught final and played a sweeper, then they went and played Kerry this year, took an awful beating and now they’re coming back playing a double sweeper against Dublin.

“Does Pádraic Joyce have an identity crisis to deal with here?”

Former Donegal forward, Brendan Devenney agrees that there are concerns for Joyce, but he believes there are other factors and variables that need to be taken into consideration as well.

“I think you can see huge issues in Galway with changing style, the abuse, and some of the stuff that went on there,” explained Devenney. “[Kevin] Walsh (the Galway manager before Joyce) tried to change that and looking back on it now, Walsh did a good job in coming in.

“Before he came in, Mayo were just hammering Galway every year. He made Galway competitive again, he turned that around.

“Listen, this is Pádraic’s first major job coming in and if you look at the short time frame, the way every match is like – ‘What happened there? Crisis, this is a crisis!’

“When Galway lost to Kerry, you’re kind of like ‘forget about it’, but it is one game, it is that Kerry forward line and they were coming back late, so it’s hard to be too down on them.”

Listen to the full discussing on the GAA Hour now

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