Galway set to be again depleted for daunting task against All-Ireland champions

Galway's Johnny Heaney on the attack against Jack Brady of Cavan during Sunday's National Football League tie at Pearse Stadium. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.
Galway's Johnny Heaney on the attack against Jack Brady of Cavan during Sunday's National Football League tie at Pearse Stadium. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

IT may be early in the campaign but Galway footballers face into what will be possibly be their toughest game of the group stages of the National League when they travel to take on All-Ireland champions Dublin at Croke Park on Saturday (7pm).

The Tribesmen will be buoyed though by their opening day victory over Cavan last weekend, particularly given they fielded a team containing only seven of the starting side that defeated Tyrone in their opening fixture in 2018.

This was due to various factors, none least that a number of their big hitters – Damien Comer, Declan Kyne, Paul Conroy, Eamon Brannigan and Adrian Varley – are all out injured at the present.

That said, Corofin duo Liam Silke and Ian Burke were huge additions last Sunday – it remains to be seen if they will make themselves available for Croke Park – while the likes of Cillian McDaid and Padraic Cunningham, who kicked two points against Cavan, also played their part.

It was also a positive to see Annaghdown midfielder Ciarán Duggan back in action after he missed some key games last year due to injury.

For Dublin’s part, they were overturned by Monaghan – not for the first time – up in Clones last Sunday, losing 2-13 to 1-13. In all, Jim Gavin fielded eight starters from last September’s All-Ireland victory over Tyrone along with five of the subs who came on in that 2-17 to 1-14 win. In other words, it was by no means a ‘weak’ team.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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