Alan Flynn's Galway U-21 footballers are the 2/1 outsiders this Saturday evening when they take on Roscommon in the Connacht final at Tuam Stadium (6pm ).
The Roscommon supporters will travel up the road to Tuam via Mountbellew and Moylough or down the motorway with a lot of confidence and seven or eight of their starting team on Saturday were in action last year when they were beaten by Dublin in the All-Ireland final.
This Roscommon side have a much vaunted forward line that rattled eight goals in past Sligo in their semi-final and the Roscommon folk see young players such as Enda Smith, Diarmuid Murtagh and Ultan Harney as men that they will be building their senior team around over the coming years.
Alan Flynn and his management team of Terry O' Regan, Kevin Kilroy, Brian Roache and Jimmy O' Dea will be aware of the threat that those players pose, however, they will be hopeful that the likes of Liam Silke, Adrian Nolan, Johnny Heaney, Jack Wyndham and Conor Cunningham will be able to keep them in check.
Flynn is in his third year in charge at this grade and he is very happy with the way their preparations have gone over the past few weeks.
"We are pleased that we have prepared as well as we can. Thankfully we have no injuries to worry about which gives us a full deck to pick from on Friday evening when we announce team. We have our work done and we are hopeful that the panel will have taken a good bit of confidence from the win over Mayo."
"We have a very good panel of players and while they have had no real success at minor level over the past few years, some of those defeats to Mayo and Roscommon were very unlucky. Last years' loss to Mayo is a case in point."
"Roscommon are doing a lot of really good work at underage level and they have been strong at minor and U-21 level over the past few years. Roscommon CBS are in their first Hogan Cup final too, and they are putting a lot of resources into underage coaching so we know that we face a tough task in two days time."
"That said, we hope to play a fast brand of football and we have a lot of belief in guys like midfielder Michael Day (Headford ), Damien Comer, Enda Tierney, Eamonn Brannigan, Gary Kelly and Michael Daly who have all worked really hard over the past few months."
The news that Corofin's All-Ireland winning corner forward Martin Farragher is back from injury is a boost too and he along with the likes of Mountbellew's Eoin Finnerty and young Dylan Wall give the management genuine options up front.
While it is understandable that Roscommon are 1/2 favourites on Saturday evening, the boost that the seniors received from their victory in Hyde Park last Sunday should also trickle down to the U21 squad,
especially as team captain Damien Comer and Liam Silke were key players in that win.
Last words to Flynn;
"We are looking forward to the challenge that Roscommon will represent. We genuinely believe that if we perform as we know we can, that we are good enough to win."
"Hopefully there will be a good Galway crowd to shout us on in Tuam and we know that this group of young Galway players will give everything they can for the cause."
Galway team that defeated Mayo in semi-final: T O’Malley, E. Kerin, J. Wyndham, K. Molloy; J. Heaney, A. Nolan, L. Silke; M. Day, D. Corbett, E. Tierney, D. Comer (Cpt ), C. Brady, M. Daly, G. Kelly, E. Brannigan.