Walsh wary of Laois after last year’s loss

The Galway senior footballers will be hopeful of collecting another two NFL points this Sunday at Tuam Stadium (2pm ) when they face Laois.

While Laois travel after successive defeats to Westmeath and Cavan, Kevin Walsh's Galway have four points from wins over Meath and Westmeath. Another victory this Sunday would be a massive boost to the footballer's chances of challenging for promotion to division one for next year.

However, football is a fickle business and nobody can be sure of how this weekend will go. Putting too much store on how the early rounds of the NFL have gone is a high risk strategy.

Many of the Galway players who trot out the small yellow gate in St Jarlath's Park this Sunday to take on the O' Moore men are the same lads who got a right trimming a year ago when they were defeated by 1-20 to 0-8 in the corresponding fixture in Portlaoise. That 15-point defeat will mean no one in the Galway panel will take anything for granted in what should be a keenly contested tie.

Former Galway manager Tomás Ó Flatharta has been in charge of Laois for the past few years and he will have told his players - not that they need telling - that another defeat in three days’ time will put them in the relegation zone.

Galway's chances of success on Sunday and feasible promotion from the division have taken a significant hit with the news that towering midfielder Tom Flynn will be out for the next few rounds of the league and may even miss the rest of the league after surgery to repair an injured knee last week.

With Paul Conroy and Damien Comer just coming back from injury, and the Corofin players club tied, Galway's hand is weakened and does not give the management team too many options to replace the injured Athenry man.

The team to be announced for Sunday's clash is unlikely to have too many changes from the one that defeated Westmeath after a determined display three weeks ago. It would appear that Oughterard's Enda Tierney is the most likely candidate to join Fintán Ó Curraoin at midfield, leaving another position to be filled at wing-forward.

Speaking to Advertiser Sport this week team manager Kevin Walsh said he and his management team wanted the team to try to achieve a consistency of performance that would make them difficult to beat on any given day.

"We want the players who are selected on any day to go out and produce a high standard of performance and achieve the levels of performance on a consistent basis. Sometimes things can go against a team and the result does not always go your way. A team can be unlucky and lose a goal or two and the result can be disappointing as a consequence. However if the team plays to the standard we are aiming for, the result will take care of itself."

The Killanin man is wary of the threat Laois pose and he is mindful of their record against Galway in the past few league encounters.

"There is not much between any of the teams in division two and all the games in it are hard to win. Laois will be coming to Tuam looking for something from their trip and they have some very talented players who know they need to get some points on the board.

“We will have to produce some genuinely good football to get what we want from the game. We have seen some real flashes of that in our first two league games and we want to build on those wins. You need to win your home league games if possible, and that is the target we have for Sunday."

The bookies are siding heavily for a home win and Galway are 1/3, with Laois available at 3/1 to collect their first points of the NFL. The draw is 15/2.


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