Joyce knows difficult days ahead given injury woes

TO call last Sunday’s National League Division 1 stalemate between Galway and Roscommon an arm wrestle would be a polite way of saying it lacked the sort of quality football you come to expect from teams playing at this level, but when adverse weather conditions and far from full strength line-ups are taken into account, maybe the fact that both camps took some positives from the game is all that can be hoped for at this time of year.

Staying in the top tier has been viewed as a necessity to compete at the business end of the season for many years and Galway would prefer to do so and still have ten points to play for. With an extensive injury list of seasoned campaigners, however, Padraic Joyce will have to walk a fine line between trying to get these players back into action and ensuring they are ready to go when it really matters.

Joyce was coy when quizzed on return dates for certain players but it looks as if he will have the same panel to choose from when they travel to Omagh on Sunday week. A well-earned break in their heavy training schedule is rostered in for this week before they take on the three Ulster teams in the division in consecutive weeks.

“Shane (Walsh) was not involved today, he had a bit of a scan last week and we will have to go and reassess him again and see,” Joyce stated. “I don’t think it is too serious but it’s just he didn’t make it today. We’re not going chancing lads, we have championship to play in April. Damien Comer is in a similar situation, he picked up a little nick of a hamstring injury the Thursday before the Mayo game. It’s unlikely we will see any of the absentees returning for the Tyrone game.

“We never complain about injuries but we do have a long list of injuries, we have nine of our definite starters injured at the minute. You can throw in Paul Kelly and Tomo Culhane also with little niggles. We have had our fair share of injuries but we just don’t make excuses, we just get on with it. It gives lads a chance to see where they are at.

“They will learn from these types of games, when you play Roscommon in the Hyde Park it is tough and physical, if they can survive that they will survive other matches going forward. We’ll take a few days off as we have been together since November, we’ll get back at it next weekend and prepare for Tyrone.”

Pictured: Galway’s John Daly trying to break free from Roscommon’s Diarmuid Murtagh during Sunday’s Division One clash at Dr Hyde Park. Photos: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

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