Galway minors take on All-Ireland champions in Tuam on Saturday

The Galway minor footballers take on Mayo, the current All-Ireland minor champions, at Tuam Stadium this Saturday (5.30pm ) in the Connacht semi-final.

John Donnellan's side had a convincing 1-13 to 1-7 win over Sligo at Markievicz Park last weekend and they must follow up that performance, seven days later with an even better display if they are to join the seniors in the Connacht final on July 13.

While it will be a distinct advantage for Galway to have had one championship game under their belt, the team did pick up a few injuries which may necessitate a few changes for their starting 15 for this weekend's clash - to be announced late in the week.

Mayo will be a step-up in class from Sligo which is not lost on team manager, John Donnellan.

"Mayo have six players that started last year's All-Ireland final available to them, and 11 from last year's panel, so we know that they will present a formidable challenge. Plus, if you look at the colleges’ competitions over the past few years, the likes of St Gerald’s have dominated at both senior and junior level, so we will have to produce a very good performance to beat them."

While it is a plus for Galway to have the game at Tuam Stadium on Saturday evening it is not something Donnellan expects to be of huge benefit.

"Regardless of where the game is being played, it is 15 versus 15. We know we will need big performances all over the field if we are to advance to the final. The reward for whichever side wins is huge, and both sets of players would love to make it a double-header with their respective senior teams in two weeks time in the Connacht final.

"We are not looking past our own squad of players. Our focus on is getting the lads to play to the best of their ability. Mayo are a good team, but so are we. And we have a lot of belief in our players. There will be nothing easy on Saturday evening, and all we can ask the lads to do is to go out and do their jobs, individually and collectively, to the best of their ability. It was good to get a win over Sligo and we need to build on that now on Saturday."

Donnellan is hoping Galway football supporters back their team this weekend.

"We have lots of different clubs from all over the county represented on the panel. The lads have worked really hard over the past few months, so we are asking as many Galway fans to come out on Saturday evening and give the panel as much support as possible."

Looking through the 24 Galway players listed on last weekend's match programme, there are 16 clubs represented in the minor panel -Leitir Mór, Killanin, Moycullen, St James, Tuam, Corofin, Mountbellew/Moylough, Kilconly, Spidéal, St Michael’s, Salthill, Micheál Breathnach, Barna, Claregalway, Killkerrin/Clonberne and Dunmore

The minor game will be followed by a senior club championship game between Milltown and St James at 7.45pm.


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