The Galway minor footballers are in action in Hyde Park next Saturday at 2pm against the Leinster champions, Longford, in the All-Ireland quarter-final.
Galway were well beaten by Mayo in the Connacht final two weeks ago, and they will have to improve significantly on their performance in the second half of that tie if they are to advance to an All-Ireland semi-final.
The panel is boosted by the return from injury of regular midfielder Thomas Flynn from Athenry who had a cast removed from his hand last week.
The team was selected last night (Wednesday ) and, while Flynn was not expected to be named in the starting 15, he is likely to see action.
Team manager Gerry Fahy is hopeful that his charges will rise to the challenge on Saturday and having studied the Longford team’s Leinster games on DVD, he is fully aware of how difficult they will be to defeat.
“Longford are a very workmanlike outfit and they have shown dramatic improvement in the past few months. They have some very good players and we will have to be at our best to reach the All-Ireland semi-final. We had a run-out in Hyde Park last weekend and we are hopeful that we will produce a top class performance and give ourselves every chance of advancing.”
Galway will probably welcome back the highly impressive Peadar Ó Gríofa (Ml Breathnachs ) to the starting 15 after injury.
He did very well on his introduction in the Connacht final and really took the fight to Mayo. If a few more of his teammates play with his zeal and passion, perhaps next Saturday will not be the last day out for the team this year.
Imposing full-back James Shaughnessy (Ballinasloe ) has also recovered from a thigh injury and he will help to bolster the rearguard. His absence was a key factor in Mayo, rattling in three goals in five minutes in the Connacht final.
There will probably be a few positional changes, but in the main Galway will be looking to big displays and lots of energy and work-rate from the likes of Paul Varley, Fionntán Ó Curraoin, Shane Maughan, Philip Ezergalis, Niall Quinn, Eoghan Cummins, Conor Rabbitte and Niall Walsh if they are to reach the last four.