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“Shane Walsh looks like a player playing with fatigue” – Poacher

Worries about the form of the Galway ace persist despite Pádraic Joyce’s Tribe looking like genuine All-Ireland contenders

Shane Walsh was one of the players of the year in 2022 with his All-Ireland SFC final performance going down in the annals of the game as one of the greatest ever.

The Galway ace wowed despite the Tribemen’s defeat to Kerry with his tally of 0-9 earning him plaudits from all and sundry before making the shortlist for Footballer of the Year.

Walsh then made national headlines when making a high-profile club switch to Kilmacud Crokes where he was part of a rollercoaster ride as the Dublin giants bagged a county title before moving onto Leinster and All-Ireland honours.

The 29-year-old took a break from Galway duty after an extended club campaign but he returned midway through their Division 1 campaign when making a cameo off the bench in their victory over Monaghan in early March.

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Walsh was expected to hit top form in the months that followed but he hasn’t come close to scaling his All-Ireland final heights and renowned coach Steven Poacher reckons that he is suffering from “fatigue”.

Speaking on the Poacher & Varley Show, the former Carlow and Roscommon coach worries about Walsh’s form in the wake of another off-colour display during Galway’s Connacht final defeat of Sligo last weekend.

“He looks like a player that’s playing…I know the rumour mill was that he was carrying a flu into the game but he does look like a player who’s playing with fatigue, mental and physical fatigue,” Poacher said.

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“He’s had a big winter with Kilmacud, he got no off-season and he had no pre-season as well because he went on holiday to try and recuperate so he’s just in that game to game cycle.

“That weekly cycle of game to game to game and it’s very, very difficult when you’re maybe running on empty physically and mentally and I don’t think he has reached the heights of last year and I don’t think he possibly will this year.

“I think they’ll be relying on (Damien) Comer, (Rob) Finnerty, (Matthew) Tierney and these boys to really step up this year.”

“It’s being proclaimed as the biggest achievement of all time Louth reaching final, it’s not”

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