Galway team captain and experienced full-back Finian Hanley is hopeful of victory this Sunday over Kildare and an opportunity to take on Tyrone in Croke Park in three weeks in the league final.
“Our priority at the start of the league was to stay safe in division two,” he says. “However objectives change and we now want to win promotion back to division one for next season and a chance to take on Tyrone in the league final. We feel if we had done a bit better in the Louth and Westmeath games, we could have been in a league final already.”
Hanley, who has been a star performer with Ireland in the International Rules series over the past few years, knows that motivation will not be an issue for Galway this Sunday.
“All the lads are well up for Sunday’s game and we hope to go for the jugular. Training has been going very well and we are looking forward to taking on Kildare. They have been a top team in Leinster over the past few years and are going very well over the past few weeks. It is a big challenge for us on Sunday. They have been hitting high scores in their recent league games, so we will have to be at our best to beat them.
“We don’t fear Kildare and we are hoping for good home support. If we produce a top-class performance, there is no reason why we cannot get the two points. It is a straight shoot-out semi-final, and the shackles are off.”
Playing in the semi-finals is a big incentive, he says.
“As well as getting back to division one, there is a place in Croke Park for the taking too. We have not been there too often in the past few years so that is a major incentive too. We will be giving Sunday our best shot and hopefully we will get the win.”