Footballers face a few busy weeks if all goes to plan

Feel good factor in Galway:  Manager Kevin Walsh  and Peter Cooke afer the recent win over Kerry, maintaining a strong run in the Allianz Football League.

Feel good factor in Galway: Manager Kevin Walsh and Peter Cooke afer the recent win over Kerry, maintaining a strong run in the Allianz Football League.

Kevin Walsh's Galway squad face Ulster 's Monaghan this Sunday in Pearse Stadium in the first half of an attractive double bill of GAA action in which Mícheál Donoghue's hurlers take on an unbeaten Limerick at 2.30pm.

The footballers have an early throw-in (12.30pm ) and they are fully aware Monaghan will be a very difficult side to beat.

Malachy O’Rourke’s team is a very experienced division one outfit. They have plied their trade in the top flight for the past five years.

The vast bulk of the panel have collected Ulster medals in 2013 and 2015, and were defeated by Dublin in the All-Ireland quarter-final last August by 1-19 to 0-12.

They are also on the back of wins over Kildare, Kerry, and most recently Tyrone in the league, and will be coming west with plenty of confidence and looking forward to testing themselves against the unbeaten home side.

They have talented footballers in top inter-county forward Conor McManus, who is a real handful for any defender, goalkeeper Rory Beggan, who kicked three points from frees against Kerry, and the Wylie brothers who are teak tough defenders, as are Vinnie Corey and Colin Walsh.

Other players to look out for are Darren Hughes, who is a quality midfielder, and up front Jack McCarron, Fintan Kelly and UCD’s Conor McCarthy will be expected to lead the way for the Farney men.

Monaghan men are not afraid of a bit of hyperbole either, and their former manager Seamus McEaney was waxing lyrically last weekend on Radio One Sport about how he thought Galway are Dublin's biggest threat to retaining their All-Ireland title this season.

Hopefully he is correct in that assessment.

Four from four

The home management team and the panel must be pleased with the eight points they have garnered from their four wins thus far in 2018, with the recent victory over Kerry especially noteworthy.

Should Galway beat Monaghan this weekend, they will be in a league final with two rounds to play - against Dublin on Sunday week in Pearse Stadium, and Kildare in Newbridge in round seven , and few would have made that prediction when they took the field against Tyrone in the first round.

Interestingly the Galway squad have not lost an Allianz Football League game since going down by a point to Meath in round four of last year’s division two league campaign.

Since then, they have won eight consecutive league games, and will be targeting number nine on Sunday.

If they do win this weekend, and with the league final fixed for April 1, it would mean they would be in competitive action for four consecutive weekends and would most likely have to play three-times All-Ireland champions Dublin twice in the space of three weeks.

Preparation for championship action could not get much better than those types of high tempo and high standard games.


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