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Galway good to go for jugular without Joe

IT'S fair to say that any team which loses Joe Canning from its ranks is severely depleted but Galway's under-21 captain David Burke hopes his team will be more balanced as a result of losing Portumna's most famous son.

Last year, Canning scored 4-7 in Galway's only match at the grade -- the All-Ireland semi-final defeat by Clare -- but Burke reckons a greater spread of attacking threats will serve his side well against Dublin this Saturday.

"A lot of the players psychologically will be thinking that they have to raise their game," he said. "He's a great player but you'd be thinking 'he'll do this for us or do that'. But we have six forwards now and there's no one else you're going to count on.

"They're going to have to stand up and be counted themselves and get a few scores. But it's hard to lose a player like that alright. He was unreal last year, scoring 4-7."

Burke, who captained Galway to a minor final defeat by Kilkenny in 2008 -- his third season at the grade -- is unsure whether a move into Leinster would suit the Tribesmen at underage level.

This year, he lined out for the Galway seniors in the eastern province but reckons the path of least resistance could be the formula for glory at under-21 level, though he admits Dublin will be more battled-hardened as a result of their successful Leinster campaign.

"If you look at Dublin there, they've played a couple of matches. They've stood to them against Kilkenny and Wexford. We're kinda cold in one sense. But if it goes right for us on the day and we can come out with the result, it won't seem so bad. If you lose, you can say it's the worst preparation but on the other hand, if we win, people say it's great preparation then.

"The less matches the better," he adds. "People will be thinking why not play two matches and win an All-Ireland. You can see where people are coming from. Play a couple of matches in Leinster and get your team together.

"But if you can get a few challenges coming to the semi-final and get your team organised that way ... Dublin had great preparation there against Kilkenny and Wexford. We would be fairly cold. We wouldn't know what our 15 is. It's fairly 50/50, I would think anyway," he concluded.