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Galway football manager Kevin Walsh says he wasn't surprised to see his side knock Mayo out of the Connacht SFC after all the hard work they have put in.
Galway denied neighbours Mayo the opportunity of a sixth Connacht SFC title in succession with a deserved 1-12 to 0-12 victory in Castlebar on Saturday night and will now face Roscommon in the final.
It was the first time the Tribesmen had beaten their illustrious rivals in eight years, but Walsh claimed that he wasn't surprised by the result after all the hard work the squad has put in this year.
“This didn’t happen only this week, this has been worked on really, really hard for the whole league,” he said.
“I think it was great that most people were glass empty rather than half full talking about the two wins in the league, we’d only two losses in 11 games since the start of the year so we looked at it that some games we should have finished them off.
“We were quite aware of that and last year in Pearse Stadium (against Mayo) we knew we were a lot closer than ye boys (the media) gave us credit for, bar a freak goal or two or three bad decisions we were right in that game and we knew that.
“We felt that 12 months further on we had a bit more work done and that’s not any disrespect to Mayo, they are great champions and they worked as hard they could out there.”
Walsh' paid tribute to his team which included five championship debutants among his starting 15.
“They were all very important, people were giving us stick during the week about having only eight players starting from last year, I think Mayo only had nine, I didn’t hear much about that," he added.
“We’re there to take the slack over the last number of weeks and we took it and brought it to the dressing room and used it as a bit of motivation, but that can often go against you if you don’t have structures and systems right, but in fairness to the boys we knew in ourselves if we stuck together we’d have a really big chance.
“It’s important that young fellas are given a chance on form, not what people think outside, when that door closes that’s what’s important.”
By: Kieran O'Daly