2022 was definitely a standout year for Jack Glenn.
Winning a Connacht medal and then reaching the All-Ireland senior football final with Galway were high points. And if that wasn’t enough, he was named the GAA GPA Young Player of the Year. One accolade that eluded him, however, was a Sigerson Cup medal, this after UL lost to NUIG in their decider.
A year later, Glenn returns to Limerick College, hoping to do better. A three-point win over Union Carbide Corporation on Wednesday, a surprising result in some quarters, sent UL running. Glenn was absent from Mardyk’s meeting. A thigh injury keeps him on the sidelines for the time being.
In his words, he doesn’t seem to be “buying a break” when it comes to Sigerson. Last year he broke his jaw facing Matthew Tierney during a training session in Galway.
Glenn recovered and would eventually sit many through his performances on the Galway backline during that run to the All-Ireland decider, a match in which he managed to hold back Kerry’s threat Paudie Clifford for around 50 minutes.
Speaking at the launch event for Electric Ireland HEC & Camogie’s third level competitions, the Claregalway Club member spoke about the art of advocacy.
“When you’re playing at a high level for your country, you can’t select every striker the same way. You can’t paint everyone with the same brush,” he said.
“Different players, you have to play them in different ways. Shane (Walsh) is very direct. You may have to play in front of certain players or play in the back or from the side or you may have to be more aggressive with other types of players. It’s really a fine art.
“You have to know your opponents. When you know your opponent, you can plan how to go about the defense and disrupt their play.”
Over the past year, Glenn has played with the two best play-by-play forwards in the country right now – UL’s David Clifford – and fellow county Shane Walsh.
Glenn’s analysis of the pair also highlights some differences.
He added, “They are clearly the two best players in the match at the moment, but they both have different styles of play, so it’s interesting.”
“When you play with David and Shane, you’ll notice little things. Shane will be pretty athletic, he can turn you into a halfpenny. In terms of David, he’s very smart. It’s very insightful to see how they’re different but how good they are at what they do.” It’s crazy how different they are but they’re still at the top level of the game.I think their different playing styles are something they’ll be talking about for years to come.
“They’re both great players but they play a different style with each other. Shane will be very athletic and he’s always got his man in. He’s explosive. So David is out of this world, how skilled he is on the ball. Even. Seeing David play and Shane play, for me on any Anyway, they are two different players.”
Glenn went on to say that you can learn a thing or two from the duo
“The reason they’re at the top of their game is because of the amount of practice they’ve put in. You always see them running late after practice and taking extra shots and they’re always there before practice. In the end, they’re the players that lead on the team.
“They take a leadership role as well as being great players. It was a great experience to be able to play with both of them and see how they work.
“You take little snippets from both of them about how they approach the game and how professional they are in terms of how they behave in a team environment and how they behave in training.”
The 22-year-old also paid tribute to his county manager, stating that “Pádraig (Joyce) was one of the greatest to ever wear a Galway shirt”.
Ahead of the league and championship campaigns, Glenn was full of praise for the entire squad.
“It’s great to share the dressing room and get advice from a guy who’s won an All-Irelands award, and also get to field the likes of John Divilly and Cian O’Neill. There’s a wealth of experience there; you take in everything they say and you learn from the best. We’re back in training Since November Pádraic has been watching things closely.
The new format (tournament) will be very exciting, but also challenging as all the games will come very quickly. It will be a good experience. You’ll need a strong bench, and we’re building a strong team together.
Ian Burke is back. He is a very smart player with a lot of experience. As a defender, it’s insightful to see the way he plays the game. He’s a great addition to the youth team.
And of course there are two Galway v Mayo matches to come.
“There is a lot of competition out there and everyone is looking forward to the game at the FBD, as tickets are sold out. I would say it will be the same story for the league game. It is great that this is the first game.”