Footballers can finish league campaign on a high

The Galway footballers, under the management team of Joe Kernan, Seán Ó Domhnaill and Tom Naughton, will complete their maiden league campaign next Sunday with a home game against Derry in Pearse Stadium at 2.30pm.

The 2010 league has been a mixed bag for Galway, combining the uplifting with the awful.

Significantly, however, there has been a marked improvement in recent weeks which is a positive sign for the challenges of the upcoming championship.

There were two poor displays against Mayo and Kerry in round one and round four, but credit where it is due, the panel really knuckled down and came out all guns blazing and there was much to admire in their recent victories over Tyrone in Tuam and away to Dublin.

In those two games the team showed a much greater urgency and work-rate, playing at a higher tempo than previous.

It takes a new management team some time to find out which parts of the jigsaw go where, and based on what we have seen in the past few weeks, the jigsaw should be well in place for a right cut at winning back the Connacht championship come late June.

There is still a lot of work to be done, but things are moving in the right direction.

With six points on the board in division one and no fear of relegation, the management could use this weekend to give some game time to a few players on the panel they want to have a look at, or also to try out a few positional switches if they deem them necessary.

After league games coming hot and heavy over the past nine weeks, Galway will go into a slight lull after this weekend.

The team will not be in competitive action again after Sunday until they play New York in the first round of the Connacht championship on May 2, and the Connacht semi-final between the winners of that game, (Galway barring a unprecedented disaster ), and either Sligo or Mayo is not on until June 27.

Thus the panel will be keen to finish their league campaign with another home win and to build on the confidence and self-belief built up with their recent good form.

Derry on the other hand are going poorly and they are on the back of some very disappointing results. They are almost certainly relegated and the mood in their camp cannot be overly positive.

Their chances of getting a win this Sunday are also severely hampered by the news that Paddy Bradley will be unavailable due to a tweaked hamstring, and the absence of his scoring power does not help Damien Cassidy’s cause.

Looking back to Galway’s win over Dublin two weeks ago there were some terrific performances all over the field with Eoin Concannon getting most of the headlines with his haul of eight points.

Even more pleasing was the work-rate and zeal shown all over the pitch when the game was in the balance. Matthew Clancy showed leadership, taking the right decisions in the critical last few minutes to set up Gary Sice and Concannon for crucial scores.

Based on home advantage, Galway’s escalating fitness levels, and their much improved recent displays, it is reasonable to head into Pearse Stadium on Sunday expecting to see the team collect another two points and finish the campaign with a triumph.


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