No messing, no moaning... Conor Whelan just shuts up and plays 6 months ago

No messing, no moaning... Conor Whelan just shuts up and plays

There's no macho showmanship, no complaining...Conor Whelan just shuts up and plays.

He often has good grounds for complaining too, with defenders prodding and poking at him out of pure desperation, but prodding and poking won't stop Conor Whelan, he doesn't even notice it.

Conor Whelan is so focused on the game itself and try all you like to get a rise out of him, he won't even acknowledge you. That's when a defender knows their man is in the zone, when they don't bite back, and Whelan approaches forward play with military discipline.

This unflinching, unfailing discipline was best seen in the 20th minute of the game when after winning yet another 50:50 ball, Whelan broke through to rifle the ball into the net off the left. It was a goal so perfect that you could live off it for two games.

The ref called it back, as often happens, for a free that Joe O'Connor had committed on Whelan's way to the goals but Whelan just got on with it.

No moaning. Just shut up and play.


Sometimes, we talk about good players doing good things and as a bit of an exaggeration, we say that they have it all. In Conor Whelan's case, this is real talk because mentally, physically and skilfully, there is nothing amiss.

When a team loses a game - this is bug-bear number two - you'll often hear supporters say that they didn't get the break of the ball, as if it was a game of pure luck. But there's no luck in hunger and Whelan is every day in maroon, one of the hungriest on the field. It's no coincidence whatsoever that he wins almost every ruck, latches onto every break.

Number 3...scrap that, because now we're gone past the stage of calling Conor Whelan a dirty ball winner, now we're all acknowledging him as what he is, as of the best forwards in the game.

Don't believe us, have a look at the full-time highlights of Galway's demolition job.