“That’s the standard for the player here.”

When he left Parnell Park last night after his Kilmacud Crokes debut, Shane Walsh must have been relieved that all the hype about his transfer is finally over.

He interviewed TG4 and RTÉ cameras on the field after the match, before speaking to members of the written media, before finally being able to join his teammates in the dressing room. By that point, many of them had gone in and showered and were headed home.

From now on, Walsh is happy to let his football do the talking.

As soon as the final whistle sounded over Kilmacud’s clinical dismantling of Templeogue Street Synge, a crowd of 29-year-old autograph hunters surrounded the 29-year-old.

Walsh was forced to leave the group early to join the Kilmacud team in a rally around manager Robbie Brennan.

The win over Templeogue was a straightforward win. Crokes have bigger fish to fry. The team that came painfully close to winning the All-Ireland Final earlier this year have added one of the country’s best strikers to their already formidable squad.

“No one has the right to hold a position on a team and you have to earn your place,” Walsh said.

“It’s exactly the same here, we had a conversation with Robbie and the boys here that there are 15 shirts in there and it’s up to you to pay for that, it’s not your shirt. Everyone is in the same situation, training has been very intense in the last two weeks since I joined.

“The most satisfying thing is that it is step by step. Everyone is talking about the outside hype that led to last year’s All-Ireland Final and they have gone on to win it this year.

But all the boys were literally saying the same things, ‘Let’s go and beat Teamplog. “That is the case, the group shows it in training.”

The Galway star was training alone until the transfer was officially approved two weeks ago. It was his first match of any description since the final All-Ireland defeat to Kerry.

“The most important thing is the money in the bank as far as football is concerned because my last game was probably about six weeks ago.

Shane Walsh with the fans after the game.

Source: James Crombie / INPHO

“It’s great to have a chance to get match time and hopefully you keep moving forward in training, because there have been quite a few cobwebs there in the last few weeks and maybe the players have seen that as well.

“It’s great to go out and kick the ball again, and it’s nice to say I’ve played at Parnell Park now as well because that’s something I’ve never done before.

“The Dobbs don’t like to play outside Croke Park for sure,” he laughed. “I was playing Manu (Paul Manion) on the road as I wasn’t able to play Dublin here. Good show and nice day for that too.”

Finally, the prospect of Mannion and Walsh playing together up front came to fruition during the second half.

“It’s a nice thing and that’s the caliber of the player here, but it’s the same in Galway as well – in the dressing room you have different kinds of characters like Damian (coming) and Paul Conroy and those guys as well,” Walsh said.

“It’s great to get a chance against someone you’ve been competing against, and now you’re playing with, so it’s great.”

Crocs president Brennan shrugged his shoulders at the criticism the club received after one of the most famous switches in GAA history.

“What are we going to do, get him out? There is a process, and I’ve said this before, there is a process in Kilmacud and just because you want to join doesn’t mean you can join.

“There are a lot of players who have been turned away for various reasons but Shane ticked all the boxes. You wouldn’t say no clearly when he wants to come and join you. So just fitting him in now is our challenge.

He spoke at the meeting on Thursday. Brilliantly speaking about the game, he sees it very clearly. He understands it as you would expect from someone at this level.

“I don’t expect there to be a lot of training on him, I’d say everything that’s been done has been done at this point, at 29 I don’t think we’re going to add much to his game.

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“It’s more of a fit for him in the system and the way we try to play and what we want to do. But yeah, he’s a big plus.

“It worked really well being able to include him. He’s really cool around the set, he’s a super guy and the main thing is really to be able to fit in really quickly.

“Ideally we would have wanted him there earlier and all that kind of thing but with running it was Galloway and all that just wasn’t possible. A welcome addition for sure.”

What about the perception that if Kilmacaud hits the top and gets the club’s football award, they won’t get any credit given Walsh’s addition?

“No matter what you do, there will probably be,” Brennan admitted.

“And like, if we won last year, someone said it would be the greatest thing ever because you didn’t get pee but I never bought that.

“We have a really good team and the two players add to that clearly. If we can do something with them, that’s great.

“And if we don’t, it will be because of them! He smiled.

“So you can’t make everyone happy. We’ll just look inside and make sure we’re doing all the right things.”

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