Footballers need at least a point to secure promotion

After Galway's solid 3-15 to 1-13 victory over Down at Páirc Esler in round six of the league, manager Kevin Walsh said Galway had been in division two for the past six or seven years because they had not been good enough, or consistent enough, to play in the top flight.

It was that simple. League tables do not lie, and while a team may be unlucky one season or another, Galway's lack of consistency in league football over the past four or five years is the reason they have not gone up the elevator to division one.

Now, however, there is a real possibility they could take that leap when they take on an already promoted Kildare in Pearse Stadium on Sunday (2pm ).

The entire Galway panel will need to be focused on the job to produce another good performance and get a result. A draw will do, but they will go out targeting a win.

To think or even suggest that Clare might do them a favour against a re-energised Meath, who hit 3-15 against Fermanagh last weekend in their grouup, would be an act of folly.

Destiny in their own hands

Galway's destiny is totally in their own hands, as they would want it to be. The forward division has been showing some really good form over the past two weekends, with Shane Walsh, who was top class against Down, the hard working Eamon Brannigan, Gary Sice and Tom Flynn, all moving well.

Barry McHugh has maintained his terrific consistency off dead balls, and the team management has other genuine options up front with Danny Cummins, Seán Armstrong, and Michael Lundy all available to either start, or come in as impact subs this weekend.

Michael Daly will be in action on Saturday evening in the U21 final as team captain and he too could perhaps play a cameo role, if needed for the last quarter.

Galway have been scoring really well in the league and have hit 12-85 (121 points ) so far.

Only one other team in the four divisions, Armagh, with 15 goals, have raised more green flags than the maroon men, and that included their crazy goal fest against Offaly.

Kildare, too, have been racking up good scores and have hit 11-89 (122 points ) in their six games in the league, or slightly more than 20 points per game.

Considering Galway have been a tad porous in defence at times, they will need to work harder at their defensive shield for the full 70 minutes and offer as much protection as possible to a full-back line that can look a tad suspect at times.

Declan Kyne's suspension following his inane error of judgment and subsequent red card in the second half last weekend does not make things any better for this Sunday either, and it will be interesting to see who is allocated the number three jersey for Sunday's clash, with David Walsh probably the man in pole position to replace the Clonbur man.

The time is now

The bottom line is this, and it reinforces Kevin Walsh's earlier point: if Galway are not good enough to get either a win, or as a fall-back, a draw, against Kildare in round seven of the league this Sunday, then they do not deserve to be promoted and advance to the division two league final.

Progress is being made, and the Galway football panel is stronger and more consistent. This Sunday is a real opportunity to earn tangible reward for all the hard work the players and backroom team have been putting in this season and over the past 24 months.

I expect the footballers to do what has to be done in three days' time, and produce the necessary performance to be playing division one football in February 2018.



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