Step-up in class for u-21s on Saturday
This Saturday in Tuam Stadium (4pm) the Galway u-21 footballers take on old rivals Mayo in the Connacht semi-final.
Alan Flynn's side had a facile 1-20 to 0-7 victory over Sligo last Monday at the same venue, leaving just five days to prepare for Saturday’s outing.
Flynn, who is also a selector with the Galway senior footballers, is conscious of the panel’s need to be in top shape for what promises to be a big step-up in intensity and quality this weekend.
"Mayo are a fine team. They are a very experienced outfit and they have some real quality all over the field. Up front they have guys like Cillian O' Connor, Evan Regan, Conor O' Shea and Darren Coen and Danny Kirby is a good player too at midfield.
"From that perspective they will pose us a big challenge, but it is one that all our players are really looking forward to. We have some very talented players on our squad too and to win or even reach a Connacht final, you know that you will have to have to face the likes of Mayo at some stage."
While very little can be taken from Galway's 16-point win over a disappointing Sligo outfit last weekend, it still gives Galway a slight advantage in that they have had a trial run out and the players should be a little bit more cohesive, fluid and familiar with each other from that 60 minutes of championship football,
"We were pleased to get past Sligo and are looking forward to his Saturday. That said, we know we will need to improve if we are to reach the Connacht final. We made some poor basic errors at stages the last day and we need to cut those out of our game as they will be punished as the standard improves.
"Thankfully, we have no injuries to deal with which is good as it gives us a full hand to pick from. Mayo are a good side, but we have some top-class players too and, if they play to their top form, we will be there or thereabouts."
Galway had good scoring performances last Monday from Sean Moran who hit Galway's only goal and Gary Kelly and Shane Walsh who each slotted five points. Cortoon's Adrian Varley also caught the eye from full-forward.
Galway led by 1-8 to 0-5 at half time and Sligo could only muster two points in a poor second-half display, in comparison to Galway who shot 0-12.