Varley in positive form

Adrian Varley - players are more in tune with game plan under Walsh.

Adrian Varley - players are more in tune with game plan under Walsh.

Galway forward Adrian Varley from Cortoon is in a positive frame of mind ahead of Sunday's meeting with Tyrone at Pearse Stadium (2pm ) in round 2 of the NFL.

The 23-year-old says the positivity is built on more than their FBD success over Roscommon and the squad's fine victory over Laois last weekend.

The squad is improving, getting stronger, and enjoying their football under Kevin Walsh, he says.

"Training is going really well and we can all see progress is being made. We believe we are improving and building on last year and that we will be a stronger and more experienced squad in 2016.

"We are more in tune with the game plan that was introduced last season and players are starting to intuitively know where they should be and the roles we all have on the field. Basically we are starting to combine and gel better as a team and a squad, and tangible progress is being made. It takes time, but we are improving."

Varley is undertaking a postgraduate course in national teaching in St Pat's in Dublin, having completed his degree in NUIG. Now in his fourth year on the senior squad, he is confident the panel is on the right path.

"Last Sunday we had a totally new full-back line from last season and they worked really well and will have learnt a lot from the game. Other players have come into the panel and are doing very well. That is great to see and, when we get all the injured lads back, competition for starting places will be very tough and that is a good thing.

"We are going to take it one game at a time and see where that brings us in the league. Division two has a lot of very good teams this year and every point garnered will be crucial as regards who goes up or down, after the seven games are played."

A different challenge from Laois

The Cortoon Shamrocks man won an All-Ireland U21 medal back in 2013 and he is looking forward to Sunday's tough challenge in Pearse Stadium.

"We know Tyrone are going to represent a huge challenge. They are one of the top four or five teams in the country and were within a whisker of getting to the All-Ireland final last September. They play a really robust defensive brand of football and counter-attack really quickly.

"You learn from playing the top sides, and with five Ulster teams in the division, we will be well tuned into their defensive strategies by the end of the league. Guys like Mattie Donnelly, Colm Cavanagh, Justin McMahon, Peter Harte and Cathal McCarron are top quality players and they will represent a totally different proposition than Laois last Sunday. That said, it is a challenge we are really looking forward to and one we are up for."

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