Galway footballers’ season is on the line against Tipperary

The Galway senior footballers face Tipperary in the qualifiers this Saturday evening at 7pm in Pearse Stadium.

It is a must-win game for Galway who will not want their championship season to a total catastrophe and a shocking return on their investment of time and effort over the past few months.

Tipperary are massive outsiders for the clash based on their status as a division four side and the heavy defeat they suffered to Kerry.

However Galway manager Alan Mulholland, his selectors, and his team know the bookies’ odds count for nothing when the ball is thrown in and they will be fully focussed on the challenge the Premier county represents.

The reality is Galway will have to produce a strong and positive performance to advance on Saturday and one far superior to the dross they displayed against Mayo. I saw Tipperary in Semple Stadium last year when they defeated Antrim by 0-10 to 0-8 and they are committed and well able to take their scores.

If Galway let them get up a head of steam and play themselves into the game, they will be hard to quell.

In Peter Acheson, George Hannigan, Ciarán McDonald, Michael Quinlivan, Alan Moloney and Philip Austin they have some very experienced and talented intercounty players. They will have no fear of Galway, having seen what Mayo did to them and they will feel they are coming up to Galway with nothing to lose.

Galway are also missing a few players. Niall Coleman and Gareth Bradshaw are both suspended, although Bradshaw is in the US for the summer. They are also without the injured Garry Sweeney and Joss Moore. There is also a genuine injury doubt over Johnny Duane and Tom Flynn and both players are receiving treatment to try to be available to play a role on Saturday evening.

Alan Mulholland is expecting a tough game from the Tipp men.

"They will be coming to Pearse Stadium as huge outsiders and we are under no doubt that this is a game that will go down to the wire.

“They found it tough going against Kerry in Munster, but that is a Kerry side that is in very good form and is on most people's shortlist for the All-Ireland. We are focussing on what we need to do and we are looking no further than trying to get a win this Saturday evening."

For Galway to win they will need team captain Finian Hanley, Sean Armstrong, Garry O'Donnell, Paul Conroy, Gary Sice, Danny Cummins and Michael Meehan to really tear into the game and show leadership. They will need at least one man to step up in each line on the field and show the way to the others. Ideally they will go out and have a real cut off Tipperary and try to play with some confidence and aplomb.

A home draw is a big positive for the team and the usual suspects will be in to cheer them on this Saturday evening. Hopefully they will be rewarded with a good display and, more importantly, a badly needed win.

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