Shane Walsh serenaded in Kilmacud Crokes clubhouse after late-night treatment 3 months ago

Shane Walsh serenaded in Kilmacud Crokes clubhouse after late-night treatment

Shane Walsh was still bandaged up, he was after some late night treatment but there he was, shoulder-high in the Kilmacud Crokes club-house, the Dublin senior football championship in his hands.

From there to here, it's been one hell of a journey for the Galway man.

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It may feel like a lifetime ago, but it's only three months since he took the Kerry defenders on a tour of Croke Park, lighting up the stadium with one of the great All-Ireland final performances.

He kicked points for fun that day and, as the dust settled, the whole country was talking about one of the most talented players the game has ever seen.

It wasn't long later, only a wet week in fact, when they were all talking again but for very different reasons.

That was when the news came out that the 29-year-old was seeking a transfer to Dublin giants Kilmacud Crokes, and that he had his heart set on the move.

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Walsh wasn't the first player to transfer clubs but, as good as he is, he was clearly the one with the highest profile. Adding to that, Kilmacud had only just lost the All-Ireland club final to Kilcoo and, with Walsh to boot, the club of no fewer than 5000 members would be seen as unstoppable in 2022.

And the bottom line, three months later, is that they haven't been stopped yet.

Paul Mannion's latest unfortunate injury rocked them in the quarter finals, and it has put a stop, so far, to what could be the deadliest duo club football will ever see, but Walsh has stepped up for them. In the mean-time, he was the difference between winning and losing the Dublin senior football championship.

It did look like the dream was over, 25 minutes into Sunday's final, when a stray Glenn O'Reilly boot saw Walsh subbed in the first half. But having gone out to the ambulance, having had his ear bandaged and stitched, he came out and changed the game with three trademark points in the second half.

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"I was slagging the lads when I joined up. I said 'I'm not bringing success to the club. I'm just joining up with ye, and I'm hoping ye'll drag me over the line," he said in his man-of-the-match interview on TG4 sport.

"When I came up yesterday evening from home, I just said there's a county final there to win, and you'll do whatever it takes, you find a way,

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"When I sat in the ambulance, I was just waiting to get back out there because there was an issue getting stitches done. I just couldn't wait to get out there," he added.

"Everyone has been training so hard for a day like today; everybody was putting their body on the line, and I just wanted to be out there with the lads doing that."

And later on that night, it was party-time as he was hoisted high in the Kilmacud Crokes club-house, belting out Sweet Caroline with some adoring Kilmacud supporters. He was late to the party, having had 'late night treatment' on the injury but from that video, the party was only starting.

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