Cyril Farrell believes Galway are the team to beat in this year’s All-Ireland SHC after their emphatic win over Tipperary in the final of the Allianz Hurling League at the Gaelic Grounds on Sunday.
Farrell, who masterminded Galway’s last All-Ireland hurling title win in 1988, was brimming with confidence when he assessed the Tribesmen’s prospects on RTÉ’s Allianz League Sunday.
"It’s Galway’s All-Ireland this year," he said. "I really believe they’re going to win it."
However, even Farrell admitted to being shocked at the ease with which Galway cantered to their 3-21 to 0-14 victory.
"Whatever about winning, you couldn’t see them winning by 16 points," he said.
"It was a great team display, from the management getting the team right going out.
"Daithi Burke was immense at full-back. Gearóid McInerney, something like his father, Gerry, who was a brilliant centre-back. All the other backs around him played well.
"David Burke led the team in centrefield. Joe Canning led the attack. They got fantastic scores, they closed down Tipp early on."
Galway have been the game’s nearly men for more years than their fans would care to remember, but a bullish Farrell believes a team reaching a state of perfect equilibrium can now shed that unwanted tag.
"This team has come of age," he added. "They’re together six or seven years.
"With strength and conditioning, they’re as tuned up as they can.
"Micheál Donoghue, Noel Larkin and Frannie Forde have done a lovely job.
"It’s theirs to win. If they get their game right, they have the pieces. I think the jigsaw is coming together.
"I really believe they can go the whole way."