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Brian Hanley on Minor Final

Brian Hanley: 'Galway - Kilkenny final is what you live for'

By Billy Coss, Tuam Herald

ALL-IRELAND minor hurling finals are nothing new to Galway.

With each passing year comes a talented crop eager to dream big and create their own piece of history on the hallowed turf at Croke Park and add to the county's modern-day success story.

That same hold true for new manager Brian Hanley. On Sunday afternoon, The Athenry clubman and his backroom of Fergal Healy, Declan O'Brien, Keith Daniels, Ciaran Callanan and Brendan Egan will hope to guide Galway to a historic third successive Irish Press Cup.

Their journey officially started on July 14 - in something of a summer classic against Kilkenny - and will end with what all of a maroon and white persuasion hope will be a win over the same opposition seven weeks later on the greatest stage of all.

Speaking ahead of the final, Hanley discussed Galway's first meeting with Kilkenny, their route to the final, and the culture and values instilled at minor level.

ON GALWAY'S FIRST CLASH WITH THE CATS

We were well ahead and then Kilkenny came back and were level with ten minutes to go and we just kicked on. That was our first game and to be fair, Kilkenny have really, really improved since that again. They defeated Limerick, a well-fancied team who have beaten us twice this year. They gave them a good beating in the semi-final and were very, very impressive and have really upped their game again. But this is their ninth game coming up, it's our fourth. If we'd another six games, our team could take a different shape. We met our subs on the Tuesday evening [after the semi-final]. Only for them I feel we wouldn't be in a final, and for them to push on because we haven't been able to get the development into them with three games in three weeks in a row. It's been very hard albeit we've used 23 players. But the system is what it is, we're happy and are just delighted to be in a final.

ON THE CURRENT KILKENNY TEAM

They're a traditional Kilkenny team. They're very, very strong. They completely outplayed us for 20-25 minutes in the second half. They dominated the game. We'd a good opening, they'd a poor opening, but they dominated at times and what they did to Limerick was frightening. It was probably as good a performance as I've seen from a minor team in years. They've a great management team. They're well set up and they're very grounded people so they're a real traditional Kilkenny team. It's probably the dream final for us. A Galway - Kilkenny final is what you live for.

ON THE IMPORTANCE OF CULTURE & VALUES

Our culture and values system is coming from the academies and Damien Coleman [Regional Director, Connacht GAA]. What we're trying to introduce and what they have introduced over the years from U-14 to U-16 to U-17 is to get them to become better people as well as develop them as hurlers. It's all about their core values and what makes up that, and how we do that as coaches and how the players represent it. You see here our core values are on our wristband - respect, positivity, communication and teamwork. They're the stuff we're trying to preach and develop. It's for outside of hurling as much as it is for hurling. We're just providing an education within the academy system for both player and coach.

They have to be accountable for their own actions and that's what would be a very, very strong point that these young lads are accountable for their own actions. Even when Ian [McGlynn] got sent off the last day [against Wexford], there was no reaction from him, there was no reaction from management. Not one of us raised our voices. Even when Shane Morgan's incident happened, Ciaran Callanan was our maor foirne on the day and he went out and pushed out all of our players. None of our players reacted, none of our players got entangled in it and none of us abused the referee or the umpires and that's part of the respect value of our culture. And that's very, very important.

Brian Hanley

Minor Manager Brian Hanley pictured with Eoin Lawless (left) and Christy Brennan

 

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