Keith and Declan, Share their thoughts

The seniors are playing their first game of Group A this Saturday , make sure to support them. Captain Keith Kennedy and vice captain Declan Connolly share their thoughts on a few questions put to them

Killimordaly V Mullagh7 PM in Duggan Park, Ballinasloe Referee Peter Murphy

Thoughts on the group and the teams in the group.
Keith ; I think we have been drawn in a very competitive group obviously with Loughrea having contested the last two county finals in a row they are a real force to be reckoned with in Galway club hurling they have a great ability to get results. Mullagh are an established senior team and have some great players and have been unlucky over the years to be the wrong side of some results in the later stages of the championship. Sarsfields are among the elite galway teams to have won a club All Ireland so tradition is very strong within their team. It will be fiercely competitive and I expect the games in our group to be extremely hard faught.
Declan ; The group is tough but exciting. All three teams are good but we feel if our preparation continues to go well for us we can match any team on any day. We are not looking past the Mullagh match for the moment though.

Thoughts on the championship this year. A few surprises, who’s impressing?
Keith; The championship so far has thrown up some serious shocks in the opening round and indeed the 6 teams that have been consigned to a relegation battle. Most notably is the casualty of St. Thomas's not many would have predicted they would be facing into a relegation battle having won the all ireland club title 14 months ago. I think Beagh and Portumna have impressed so far with Portumna showing no hangover from their All Ireland win!
Declan; The championship has thrown up a few surprises with the system that is in place at the moment. Prime example being Thomas’ in relegation. Some people might be in the opinion that it is an unfair system that really only depends on the luck of the draw and who you get. But, on the other hand, there is great bite and excitement to every match right from the beginning of the championship. It’s always hard to look past Portumna as they are current all-Ireland champions and seem to be carrying last years from through to this championship. Tommie Larkins really impressed me in their first championship match. They seem to have a balanced team with very few weak links and huge belief in themselves. Athenry could also be a dark horse in this year’s championship.

How is training going since the Kiltormer game? Is preparation coming on ok?
Keith; There has been a high in training since the Kiltormer game it's a game we targeted from the moment we heard the fixture as a must win game and we achieved that and now our focus is Mullagh on Saturday evening. Preparations are going very well with the lads putting in a great effort since the first round!
Declan; Training is going well, everyone is putting in a big effort. Our training before the Kiltormer match was at a very high intensity and we have been trying to match and even increase that for the Mullagh match. 

There is a lot of youth coming through, how does it feel to be one of the older guys for a change?
Keith; Having the younger members of the club training with us and not just training but impressing is something I'm very happy with, we have some great talent in our younger teams and to have Brian Burke, Brian Concannon and Dean Earls coming to the fore of our senior team it is a great boost knowing we have players with such talent coming through.
Declan; There is great lads coming into the team this year. They are bringing great energy, confidence and skill level to the panel. Their application of themselves at training is very impressive. It’s mighty to have them involved. As one of the older members on the panel you have to be trying to push and encourage the younger players but with these lads, this is not the case. They look like they have been playing at this level for years. It’s mad how quick the years go by. I do still have to remind myself at times that I am not 17 or 18 any more. Hopefully there is a few more years left in me.

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