Minor win is just the pathway

Since 1990 Galway have appeared in 20 All Ireland minor finals, and on Sunday they secured a 13th title at this level, but Galway manager Brian Hanley says the ultimate goal is success at senior level.

"There is no point us having all these All Ireland minor medals. The whole thing is this is a pathway to playing senior hurling," he says.

"I would genuinely rather not win that game today and had six of them playing and lifting Liam McCarthy.

"I said from the off. When I went for the job interview, it was all about the pathway to the senior hurling and it is the one thing that Galway people and people with the knowledge of Galway hurling can take forward and need to sit down and really plan how can have these lads playing senior hurling at 20 or 21."

After hitting 2-8 in the final Sean McDonagh has announced himself on the national stage as a talent for the future, and bringing him and others through to senior level is what Hanley wants to see over the next few years.

"He's a special talent all right, he timed it so well," he says. " I was so worried about him all year. He wasn't at the pace of it, and next thing, coming near a championship match, he is getting to the pace of it. He's a great guy, he's a lovely individual, he has a massive career ahead of him if he minds himself.

"He has to apply himself correctly. He's got to surround himself with the correct people because it is not going to come handy to himself at that age, and size will count against him because he's not going to be the tallest man in the world, so he's got to drive his own career forward and we've got to help him in whatever way possible."

McDonagh possesses the skill and movement to make it, he believes.

"It is there for everyone to see, but it has to come from within and that is a question I would have about Galway hurlers. We can't let them take their eyes off the ball and the only way they do that is in the gym and through hard work."

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