Galway football star Shane Walsh hopes to prolong his career by seeking a club transfer to Dublin giants Kilmacud Crokes while studying in the capital.
here was widespread shock when Walsh, who went back to college to complete a BA (Hons) in physical education at Portobello Institute, outlined his wish to transfer from his native Kilkerrin-Clonberne following his man-of-the-match display in the All-Ireland SFC final defeat to Kerry.
The 29-year-old outlined his reasons for requesting the move while admitting that injuries, age and travel played a huge part in the ace attacker’s request.
“It’s circumstantial, the fact that I’m not 21 years of age anymore and flying around the place. That was probably a big part for me, moving up to Dublin going back to college and that,” Walsh told Off The Ball.
“It didn’t really stem until February or March time, I started to pick up a couple of niggles around my hips and my back and it was starting to take the enjoyment out of it.
“I was coming up from training and sometimes I wasn’t able to train and there’s nothing worse than driving two and a half hours down the road and then you’re tight and you’re not able to train and you’re literally getting physio and going back up again.
“For me, anyone that knows me knows that I love playing football, that’s what it’s all about for me and I want to play football as long as I can.
“It might have taken Galway 21 years to get to an All-Ireland final but I mightn’t be able to go another 21 years playing football, but I’d love the idea of it.
“That for me is what it is and for me, I’m hoping to prolong my career by shortening the travel distance for the period that I’m up in Dublin but as I said, I’ll be back down to Kilkerrin-Clonberne in the future.”
Walsh’s transfer is currently with Croke Park as he awaits a decision from GAA HQ to see whether he can line out with last year’s Leinster champions in the Dublin SFC.
Walsh, who is expected to win his first All-star later this year on the back of hitting 0-9 in a spectacular final performance, feels that he just can’t give his home club the commitment it demands right now.
“We’re probably known for our ladies now at the moment, our ladies are All-Ireland club champions but we’re a small club and numbers out in the rural areas are dwindling as well so it is tough going,” Walsh said.
“It’s the travelling that no one sees, everyone sees you out playing but they don’t see the work that goes in behind the scenes and there’s so much work that goes in when you’re trying to train and prepare.
“Commitment is probably a big thing for me, when you’re there you have to be there and people say ‘train here, there and everywhere’ but for me, when you’re part of something you’re there all the time.
“I just know that I wouldn’t enjoy it, if I’m getting injured and not playing then what good am I to anyone?
“The only person that’s probably feeling sorry for themselves is me because you’re injured and you’re not playing something that you love doing, something that you dreamed about doing since you were born basically.”
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