U21 footballers in positive form ahead of Mayo meeting

The Galway U21 footballers take on a highly-rated Mayo outfit this Saturday evening in Tuam Stadium at 5pm in the Connacht semi-final.

Galway produced a mixed performance in their first round game against Leitrim, also in Tuam Stadium, but Gerry Fahy's team eventually won by 4-10 to 2-12.

The home side had led 4-08 to 0-2 at half-time, but they really went off the boil in the second half, and incredibly conceded 2-08 without reply to give Leitrim a scent of a victory.

If Galway were to take their foot off the gas for 20 to 25 minutes this weekend, it would almost certainly see them out of the Connacht championship.

There is a backbone of good players in the current squad and they, and the management team will have targeted a Connacht final as a realistic objective at the start of the campaign.

Players such as Galway senior player and team captain Michael Daly, who impressed in last weekend's win over Down, and defenders Dylan McHugh, Sean Andy O’Ceallaigh, Ruairi Greene and Kieran Molloy are all good players.

Up front players such as Cillian McDaid, Dessie Conneely, Eoin Finnerty, Robert Finnerty and Paul Mannion will be expected to produce the goods in front of goal

Team manager Gerry Fahy is looking forward to the game.

"We have prepared well and the mood is very good and positive in the squad. Obviously all the lads know that we will need to produce a more consistent performance than we did in the semi-final, and we believe that we will do that," he told Advertiser Sport.

The starting 15 will be announced to the squad this evening (Thursday ) and apart from senior panellist Seán Kelly from Moycullen who has been troubled by a hamstring injury, the management team have a full hand from which to select, although Kelly may be able to play some part in the game.

Due to the positive influence Colm Brennan, Céin Darcy, Antaine O’Laoi and Colm Tarpey had when they came on in the second half of the quarter-final win, the management will have some tough calls to make today.

"Thankfully we have a good strong panel which is what you want," said Fahy. "Saturday will almost definitely take a 20 or 21 man effort to get over the line. Mayo have a good few lads available from last year's All-Ireland winning squad and we know they represent a big challenge.

"However, it is one we are really looking forward to. It is a home game for us and following last week's win for the senior team we are hoping for a good home support in Tuam on Saturday."

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