GALWAY GAA: “I’m Very Proud of the Lads” – Donal O Fatharta 

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Donal O Fatharta
11 August 2018; Galway manager Donal Ó Fátharta during the Electric Ireland GAA Football All-Ireland Minor Championship semi-final match between Galway and Meath at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

While disappointed not to win, Galway minor football manager Donal O Fatharta didn’t miss any opportunity to praise his players who put in a might effort against Kerry in the All-Ireland Final. 

The Tribesmen led 1-8 to 0-4 during the first half but couldn’t put the Kingdom away who gradually overturned the deficit in the second period to complete a historic five-in-a-row for the county.

Galway came through Connacht before wins over Clare and Meath secured them a spot in football’s biggest day.  And even if the result wasn’t what was desired, O Fatharta was delighted with the performance.

“Delighted with the performance but obviously not the result,” said O Fatharta to Kevin Dwyer from Galway Bay FM.  “We were saying all we needed to take our chances.

“We were five or six up (seven actually!) there at one stage and we had chances maybe to get a couple of goals or just keep the scoreboard ticking over.  It just didn’t happen and even in the second half as well.  I’m very proud of the lads.  They put in a very, very hard year.

“It was kind of they (Kerry) were getting the breaks a little bit more than our guys.  The movement mightn’t have been there for Donie (Halloran) because I think Donie was immense with his kick outs and the possession from kick outs was absolutely brilliant because it’s not easy out there.

“I spoke to the guys inside there and I said that (they gave it their best) to them.  Guys make mistakes; it always happens.  Some guys today might have been taken off or whatever the case may be.  But the put in a shift and they put in a hard shift.  I’m delighted with them for that.

“To be honest, we wouldn’t have dreamed of it (being in an All-Ireland Final).  To get through Connacht and Mayo and Roscommon and Sligo is a big ask in this round-robin new system.

“And for the development of them, so much learned out there for the last two days (semi-final and final).  Croke Park is a different ball game it’s great when you can see even Kerry were under the cosh at times.”