Meehan sensed Corofin had hunger to beat Vins
THEY were, by the time of throw-in for their All-Ireland club semi-final with St Vincent's in Tullamore last Saturday, negligible outsiders in the odds but Michael Meehan says Corofin's deposing of the reigning champions came as a surprise to no one in Galway.
"I would have fancied them," insisted Meehan, not currently a member of the Galway senior squad but not offically retired either.
"St Vincent's are a phenomenal team but to be going two years in a row is tough going.
"There's always going to be a time when the bite, the hunger, that little element mightn't have been there that would have been there last year."
Meehan won an All-Ireland club title with Caltra in 2004, yet failed to get past the semi-final stage in Galway the following year, a symptom partly, he feels, of the arduousness of the competition.
Yet fatigue aside, Meehan has witnessed in close proximity the rise and maintenance of Corofin's excellence and a St Patrick's Day appearance at some stage was, Meehan felt, practically inevitable.
"Their goal is not a county title any more," he pointed out. "They're looking much further down the road. They've been unfortunate for a few years.
"They've missed out on a couple of All-Ireland final appearances over the last six or seven years.
"They are where they want to be now and where they've planned to be and they've a great chance.
Meehan's own future is decidedly less clear.
He left the Galway panel last March indefinitely, though he declined to go so far as to call it 'retirement.'
At 29, Meehan had nursed a chronic ankle injury since 2010, when he tore most of the cartilage from the joint in a Connacht semi-final replay against Sligo.
He calls it now "a degenerative injury," which "flares up, gets stiff and sore," whenever he trained or played a match.
Thus Meehan's only football of 2014 was four matches with Caltra.
More recently, he underwent a knee operation and while he's not predicting or even expecting to make a Galway comeback, he has nonetheless been in contact with Kevin Walsh (inset).
"I spoke to him a few times but there's no pressure coming from anywhere there," he explained.
"But I need to crawl before I can walk before I can jog. See how it goes."
"I stepped away last year because I had no option," Meehan continued.
"Can I go back? I'd love to. But it's unlikely. I'd love to get back and do something; start off and play as much as I can, if I can."