GAA: Galway v Mayo Why former Mayo player, Anthony Finnerty, will be cheering on Galway this Sunday
Galway corner-forward Rob Finnerty says his father Anthony, the former Mayo player, will be shouting for the Tribesmen on Sunday when the two old rivals clash in a vital Allianz League encounter at Tuam Stadium.
Anthony Finnerty played in the 1989 and 1996 All-Ireland finals during a decade of service for Mayo and the green and red flag regularly hangs outside the Ward's pub and hotel which he operates in Salthill, but son Rob is in no doubt who he will be supporting on Sunday.
“I’ll have him wearing maroon! When I’m playing with Galway he’s a Galway man. He’s been living in Galway a long time now.
“I have been playing for Galway now for a few years at minor, U-21 and senior for the last two years and any time we come up with Mayo and I have a Galway jersey on, he will have his maroon.”
And while Finnerty has played against his father’s native county at underage and tournament level, this will be his first league or championship game against Mayo.
Finnerty was in superb form for Salthill/Knocknacarra side managed by his father this summer which went out of the title race to Corofin.
“It was disappointing to go out in the quarter-final against Corofin this year. I just think we didn’t get going as we would have liked to but from a Galway football perspective I think it was a positive club championship and it was nice to see new winners in Moycullen.
Finnerty, who has been selected at right corner-forward for Sunday’s clash, was a key member of the Galway minor team which reached the 2016 All-Ireland and the U-21 final the following year.
He featured in all five of Galway’s league games earlier this year as they climbed to the top of the table before they had to deal with lockdown.
“It was tough enough. All we were trying to do was keep busy. I had exams for the first month so it was alright, I was kept busy.
“The lads had programmes sent out to us and we were training away at home. But from my own perspective I had two brothers at home so I got to train with them.”
Victory on Sunday and against Dublin the following week will guarantee Galway a first league title since 1981, a year when Anthony Finnerty was at midfield to guide NUI Galway to Sigerson Cup glory.
“We are looking forward to it, excited to get back out in a Galway jersey and just have the opportunity to play again,” added Rob Finnerty.