Niall Coleman back with the Galway footballers for 2012

Annaghdown’s Niall Coleman is back on the Galway senior football panel for the new season.

Coleman is a player who has a lot of experience as an inter-county footballer with Galway under his belt.

He won an All-Ireland U-21 medal in 2005 and he also collected Connacht senior medals in 2005 and 2008. He lined out at midfield in both those senior successes.

Galway beat Mayo in both those two Connacht finals, however 2008 was the last time that Galway have won the senior provincial title. Mayo won the Nestor cup in 2009 and again this season, with Roscommon collecting in 2010 with their one-point victory over Sligo.

Coleman also lined out at midfield alongside Joe Bergin in the 2010 championship replay against Sligo and in the subsequent defeat against Wexford in the qualifiers. However he withdrew from the Galway set-up last year due to work commitments and did not play championship.

It is good news that he is available for the 2012 season, as Niall is a fine fielder and has a very high workrate and a positive attitude.

Hopefully he will provide options around the middle for Alan Mulholland alongside the likes of Thomas Flynn, Joe Bergin, Paul Conroy and Fionntán Ó Curraoin.

Galway have a very large and open ended panel at the moment and some of the minors from 2007 are also in doing individual programmes with the anticipation of giving them some game time in the new year and beyond.

Players like Ballinasloe’s Keith Kelly who won an All-Ireland minor medal at corner back in 2007 is involved, as well as the likes of Oughterard’s Damien O’ Reilly and Joe Joe Greaney.

Other young players who will be assessed and looked at over the coming few weeks and months include Michael Martyn, Adrian Murphy, Conor Doherty, Michael Boyle, Patrick Sweeney and Garry Sweeney.

The senior management team will be working very closely and liaising with Galway U-21 football manager Gerry Fahy over the coming months as players are monitored and evaluated.

The Galway U-21s, who are the reigning All-Ireland champions are in championship action early next season and they have been given a very tough draw.

First they take on Mayo in McHale Park in the preliminary round on Wednesday March 14, with the winner’s facing Roscommon the following week in Kiltoom.

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