Conroy stated that it was great to take a big scalp, but it's "time for us to move on now"
Paul Conroy admits that it was a shock to beat Mayo in the Connacht semi-final by 1-12 to 12 points, getting their first victory over their provincial rivals in eight years.
Conroy was one of the players involved in that last win, and having just come from minor at the time, he told Joe Molloy on Off the Ball that "I thought it would be much of the same over the next couple of years, but Mayo have obviously been very dominant since then, so it was lovely to get the win over them yesterday."
Although they went in at the break three points down, Conroy stated that there was a belief that they could get back into it, despite the fact that Mayo would have been favourites to push on and win.
"We knew overall that if we put in a right performance, that there was chances opening up. We did have a lot of bad wides yesterday and we e felt we were well in the game at half time it was just a mater of going out in the second half and going through with it."
Athenry man Thomas Flynn grabbed the goal that brought Galway level, with Conroy himself getting the point that pushed them into the lead and helped them on their way to the incredible victory. Having been part of the last team to beat Mayo, Conroy was more than aware that the next step was the most important one for the team: to make sure that they press on.
"People have been saying we've been in transition for a while but I think it's time for us to move on now. There's a lot of us who have been there for a while, we're not young lads anymore, and that was a big scalp yesterday."
Image: ©INPHO/James Crombie
The journey to this point has been a long one for the Galway squad, and with the news that there have been 52 players who have opted out of playing for the team, Conroy admitted that the tough times for the team in terms of results haven't helped.
"Personally for me, I love playing for Galway. Even in the bad days, if you like, when we were losing by significant margins to Mayo I still used to enjoy going to play. It's a pity, that figure. 52 seems like an awful lot, but I suppose if your team is doing well [...] it's easier to not go in, instead of maybe a team that is doing well, you'd have lads dying to get in there. A big game was needed yesterday, hopefully now that will improve things."
Image: ©INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan
Conroy also underlined the importance of the win, not only to the team who have been slogging away for so long, but for the supporters and the kids who would have watched the game and seen their side finally return to winning ways.
"I think it was badly needed, to be honest," said Conroy. "When I was growing up, Galway were winning Connacht every second year, success wasn't far away. The last couple of years, we've lost a bit of our support because success brings support. That was badly needed and it will give everyone a lift around the county."