Little time to draw breath ahead of hectic New Year for GAA teams

Former Galway hurler Cyril Donnellan who will serve as a county U21 selector next year.

ONE GAA season may have only expired but already thoughts are firmly focusing in on both club and county action early in the New Year.

While All-Ireland hurling champions, Galway have chosen not to participate in the Walsh Cup – due, presumably, to their hectic post championship-winning schedule – the county’s footballers will commence their season with a FBD League fixture as early as Wednesday, January 3, away to Sligo. Tyrone native Paddy Tally has joined Kevin Walsh’s backroom team for 2017.

They will follow this up with FBD fixtures against Mayo away on Sunday, January 7; Leitrim at home on Sunday, January 14; and Roscommon at home on Sunday, January 21; with the final to be played in a date in February which is to be confirmed.

Elsewhere, Galway and Connacht champions Corofin have received the details of the re-fixture of their All-Ireland SFC club quarter-final against Fulham Irish. The original game was due to take place earlier this month in Ruislip but was postponed two hours before throw-in due to heavy snowfall.

With the cost of the trip exceeding €20,000, Corofin had hoped the match might now be played in Ireland – Parnell Park, Dublin had been suggested – but this will not happen as Kevin O’Brien’s charges must pack their bags again and return to London for the re-fixture at 1pm on Sunday, January 21.

“It is what it is,” remarked Corofin Club Chairman Michael Ryder to Tribune Sport this week. “We will gear ourselves now for it and prepare for it.

“What has happened is that we have sent our expenses to Croke Park (from the previous trip) and hopefully they will look at it. We have got some money – it has come into our account – but we would be hoping they would look at the balance and see what they can do for us.”

Full coverage in this week’s Connacht Tribune.