The Galway senior footballers are under the stewardship of a 'shrewd operator' following the appointment of Padraic Joyce, according to his former inter-county team-mate Kieran Fitzgerald.

Joyce, widely regarded of one of the Tribesmen's best ever players, was handed the reins of the senior side in October after a season to forget for the county.

Failure to make the Super 8s after a defeat in the qualifiers to old foes Mayo saw Kevin Walsh step down to be replaced by the relatively inexperienced Joyce.

Joyce guided the Galway under-20s to this year's Connacht title, before they were beaten by Dublin in the All-Ireland semi-final.

It’s only a year since Joyce was appointed to that role as under-20 boss, his first step into management, but the two-time All Ireland winner has helped to bring the feel good factor back for Galway and Fitzgerald believes he can deliver success.

"I’m looking forward to it now,"  Fitzgerald said. "He’s a shrewd operator, he knows his football. I’ve played with him, in the dressing room, on the pitch, he knows his stuff.

"He knows the type of football he wants to play. He has said he wants to play a more expansive game.

"We haven’t won an All-Ireland since 2001 but Galway are traditionally one of the top counties. The talent is there to be really competitive.

"I don’t know, Dublin and Kerry just seem to be a good bit ahead of what’s there at the minute, but if Padraic Joyce says we’re going to win an All-Ireland, who are we to say not? It’s going to be exciting.

"He's a confident man. He knows what he wants. He’s been very successful on and off the pitch. Whether he can do it and win an All-Ireland in 10 months, I hope he can, but I think Galway will go places with him."

For Fitzgerald however the focus is on Sunday’s Connacht senior football final where Corofin are looking to extend their dominance of competition.

With their seventh consecutive Galway senior football title safely tucked away, the Galway outfit are now looking to make it four-in-a-row in of provincial titles as they prepare to take on Padraig Pearses in Tuam on Sunday.

A 1-10 to 0-08 victory over Tuam Stars was enough for Corofin to retain their status as Galway champions and they followed that up with a narrow win against Mayo’s Ballintubber for their sixth Connacht final in as many years.

It’s been an era of unprecedented success for the club and Fitzgerald has been along for the ride for most of it.

The veteran defender knows better than most just what it takes to succeed at club level and with 24 senior club medals already in his locker, he explained how he still manages to find the hunger to chase down more.

Speaking ahead of Sunday’s final Fitzgerald said: "Some people say you’re 38 and you’re playing football, how do you do it?"

"But I’m playing with a club that’s been successful. If you can stay injury free, it’s not that hard.

"It’s the guys that are struggling in clubs that are fighting relegation, and are just maintaining, they’re my age, they’re the lads that really deserve the credit!

"I’ll see. Injuries will play an awful bit part in it. Right here, right now, I’m relatively OK.

"The fact that I was relatively fit and injury-free, it would have been different if there was a complete stop and then a break of three months - that might have been a different story. 

"The last few years - the Nemo final and the Crokes final, it’s just been a continuation, we’ve been going for the last 24 months or whatever.  

"I just didn’t get off the train, as they say."