"I'm just sick of people putting Cavan down to be honest"
Donegal and Dublin will be the game of the championship. Cavan did well to get there, but the jig is up now.
All last week, Thomas Galligan was hearing about Donegal and how they were headed for bigger and better things beyond Ulster. How Cavan were just a warm-up game that Donegal would win handy, before focusing on the big one.
This was music to Thomas Galligan's ears. It was fuel to this man's fire.
"I still haven't taken it in that we've won because nobody expected us to win and everyone was telling us all week how we're just a warm-up game for Donegal to play Dublin. Let them sort a few things out and they'll be ready to take on Dublin," he says on Tuesday, still sporting a sizeable shiner from Sunday's heroics.
"I suppose it was (motivation,) you were listening to it all week about you haven't a chance and you hadn't a chance against Down and hadn't a chance against Monaghan. People will say it doesn't matter but that really gets on a lad's shoulder. Everyone would have used their own way to motivate themselves but for me that was a big enough thing because I'm just sick of people putting Cavan down to be honest. So I'd say a lot of people would have used it to motivate themselves."
"So it's surreal at the minute because even not having the fans and meeting people, or even going to the pub or anything like that, you can't do that and get the pats on the back that you normally would. But still, nobody can take it away from us. It's great."
"He got a head injury, seemed to hurt his spine, got two whacks on the shoulder. Cut his eye, seemed to chip a bone in his hand too.
"But there was not one thought in his head that he was coming off that pitch"
Galligan's gladiator spirit lives on 🔵⚪️https://t.co/vsSBRJQcgR
— The GAA Hour (@TheGAAHour) November 23, 2020
To say Galligan was in the wars is putting it mildly, with the Lacken gladiator literally sacrificing his body for the cause. He cut his eye, hurt his hand and his back and while the aches and pains are growing, Tuesday's injury update sums the man up.
"Things are starting to be sore now. I've two stitches in my eye so I'll have to get them cleaned up or tightened up when I see the doctor tomorrow or tonight. And then I broke my wrist last year so I kind of thought something else was after happening to it again but it's actually fine today so I'm not worried about that. It'll take a little while to loosen out but it'll be fine. I'll get back training tonight and get back on the horse."
No bother to him. Bring on Dublin too.
"I suppose it is a little bit daunting but it's also exciting to be playing the best team in the country. You'll really know where you're at after you play them. It might be a bit daunting or whatever but I think more people will be excited to get playing. If you had to ask people at the start of the year that Cavan were going to be in an All-Ireland semi-final, you would have got good odds. So I think we'll enjoy it more so than be afraid of it.
"Ah lookit, they're well used to playing there," he says of the Croke Park debate, "but I think everyone wants to play in Croker. I don't anybody will be disappointed if we have to play them in Croker because growing up that's exactly where you want to play. You're playing team in the country in Croker, if you can make it there you'll make it anywhere.
"Nobody expected us to get here. There's no pressure on us, we're going out and playing football. The favourites tag probably weighed heavy on Donegal the other night so hopefully it'll do the same to Dublin."