Minors must make up for Connacht final disappointment

Tomo Culhane - a target man of strength and power will be key for Galway’s hopes against Kildare on Saturday.

Tomo Culhane - a target man of strength and power will be key for Galway’s hopes against Kildare on Saturday.

Galway minors' All Ireland hopes face another stern test when they take on Kildare in the All Ireland quarter-final in the third game of Saturday's triple header in Pearse Park, Longford.

Having lost so narrowly to Mayo after extra time three weeks ago, manager Donal O Fatharta and his team will be out to make up for that loss.

Kildare also came through an extra-time win when they overcame against Dublin - albeit finishing with a more comprehensive win than Mayo.

Galway, however, will count themselves unlucky to lose the Connacht final. It was nip and tuck all the way, but a draw might have been the fairest result after 80 super minutes of football.

The new version of the minor championship, which is a round robin series, is doing huge favours across the board. No longer a straight knockout system, each team is guaranteed at least four competitive games. Having finished top of the group, Galway were afforded the comfort of not having to play a semi-final, but were straight into the final, while the extra game for Mayo will now be considered a help.

Minor level football is often considered to be more exciting with teams going out to play and win football matches. This Galway team is a little bit different, still managing to play the game with an expansive brand of football, but there is an obvious system in place to allow runners from the back. This can be seen clearly with the amount of times full back Ruairi King manages to advance forward without the team getting caught on the break if he loses the ball.

With at least one of the wing forwards dropping back and sweeping, he is then easily able to cover - playing like this can tempt opposing teams into a full court press. However opposing teams may not be willing to press so hard when faced with a target man of strength and power like Tomo Culhane, playing with Nathan Grainger and Warren Seoighe either side of him.

This full forward line is well capable of eating up any open space, so any and all extra cover is necessary.

In what promises to be a cracking day of underage football, this exciting Galway minor team will be hopeful of having an All-Ireland semi-final in two week’s time if they advance against the recently crowned Leinster champions.

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