Cunningham’s development work reaps reward

Galway u-21 hurling team manager Anthony Cunningham was delighted with his team's terrific display as they easily defeated Dublin in last Saturday’s All-Ireland final.

"It is very satisfying for these players who were shell-shocked last year," he said. "This time last year it was a lonely place, but to be honest, it’s a great way for them now to finish."

Cunningham was also eager to praise his management team.

"Tom Helebert and Mattie Kenny have put in tremendous coaching work with this team - we did a lot of development work with this team on the pitch from May 4 right through until this week. That's what counts at u-21 level."

Cunningham acknowledged there will be renewed optimism in the county based on an All-Ireland minor and u-21 titles coming west.

"All of Galway is hoping these guys will kick on and make good senior players. Two weekends running with All-Ireland success. There’s a lot of optimism there now. You're looking for guys good in the air, with good speed and skill, and you're looking for the bit of toughness.  But there’s still a massive amount of work to be done. The bar is set very high. There are huge tasks there – the Limerick match the last day was a huge task to get over and you have the Kilkennys, Corks, Tipperarys, and now Dublin on the scene. What a force they’re going to be."

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