Corofin must beware of complacency

In a totally lop-sided 2016 provincial championship final last November, Galway football champions Corofin faced off against Roscommon champions St Brigid's in Carrick on Shannon, and won their seventh senior Connacht championship by 2-13 to 0-5.

Now when they come face to face again this Sunday in Tuam Stadium (2pm ) in the provincial semi-final, the Corofin management team, led by Kevin O'Brien, and the players will have to be cautious of any complacency when they take on the Roscommon champions.

When any team beats another one by 14 points in championship, there is always a fear of taking them for granted a bit the next time they meet, but O'Brien has been around too long to get sucked into any loose talk of St Brigid's being a team well past their best, and he is adamant his charges will not be taking anything for granted this weekend.

"We have had some great battles down through the years with St Brigid's and they have won their fair share of them," O'Brien says. "We have a lot of respect for them and they were All-Ireland club champions a few years ago too. We have no doubt that they will be gunning for some retribution after last year's defeat."

Galway enjoyed a great start last year with an early goal from Michael Farragher.

"That gave us a great platform and we were well up at half time, but every game is different and nobody can be sure how next Sunday will turn out," O'Brien says. "There is a big prize at stake and we want to get back to another Connacht final if we can. Frankie Dolan and his squad will be coming to Tuam to win, and we will need big performances all over the field and a lot of intensity and hard work on and off the ball if we are going to beat them. There are no easy games at this stage of the season."

New players pushing

O'Brien is fortunate to have a full deck from which to select Sunday's team, apart from a few minor pulls and strains that he hopes will not rule anyone out of playing. He says that is down to a bit of good fortune, and that they have tapered their training as the season progressed.

"We believe in lots of rest to give the body a chance to recover, and we would always be mindful of the workload lads would have with either the county team or college teams, or where they are at as regards work or college commitments.

"We have a great group of lads to work with, and some of the younger lads are really pushing on and becoming leaders in the group."

Jason Leonard, Dylan Wall, Kieran Molloy and Dylan McHugh and Ciarán Brady are all in a rich vein of form, he says.

"It is great to see new players becoming established members of a team and panel. Over the past few years, and even from last year, some fantastic players from the club have retired and re-graded. A club always need younger players breaking through and putting their hands up for starting places on the team.

"Unless that happens, a successful period for any team will come crashing to a halt and all this week and on Sunday we will need different players taking on leadership roles at different stages and in different ways."

In the other Connacht senior semi-final Castlebar Mitchels will face Tourlestrane (Sligo ) in McHale Park.

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