New Galway boss puts his faith in young guns
THE busiest manager in Ireland, Anthony Cunningham, has placed his faith in youth as a radically revamped Galway team prepares to host holders Dublin in the opening round of the Allianz NHL Division 1A this Sunday.
Specifically, Cunningham has selected eight members of the Galway U21 team that blitzed Dublin to win last year's All-Ireland U21 crown.
They are Deci Connolly, Ger O'Halloran and Niall Donoghue in defence, David Burke (a relative senior veteran) at midfield, plus attacking quartet Conor Cooney, Niall Burke, Barry Daly and James Regan. Several more young guns make the Pearse Stadium bench, including Davy Glennon who delivered a 'man of the match' performance in last year's U21 decider.
The team will be skippered from centre-back by Fergal Moore, with Tony óg Regan shifting across to wing-back.
Cunningham - who has been double-jobbing to deadly effect of late, leading Westmeath football champions Garrycastle to an All-Ireland club final - has seen his attacking options weakened by Joe Canning's shoulder injury, shipped on Fitzgibbon Cup duty this week. His usual full-forward place goes to Daly.
TIPPERARY have made eight changes from the team that succumbed to Kilkenny for their All-Ireland final rematch at Nowlan Park.
There are debuts for corner-back Donagh Maher (brother of wing-back Shane) and wing-forward Adrian Ryan, while the most notable absentees are Lar Corbett, who dramatically quit the panel recently, veteran 'keeper Brendan Cummins, last year's captain Eoin Kelly and Shane McGrath, who has a knock. Seamus Callanan and Patrick Maher are carrying longer-term injuries.
GALWAY (SH v Dublin): J Skehill; D Connolly, D Collins, G O'Halloran; T Og Regan, F Moore, N Donoghue; D Burke, C Donnellan; C Cooney, N Burke, I Tannian; D Hayes, B Daly, J Regan. Subs: J Ryan, P Shiel, B Flaherty, P Huban, B Burke, J Coen, E Ryan, J Cooney, J Grealish, A Harte, D Glennon.
TIPPERARY (v Kilkenny): D Gleeson; D Maher, P Curran, M Cahill; S Maher, C O'Mahony, P Maher; B Maher, D Young; G Ryan, N McGrath, A Ryan; P Bourke, B O'Meara, J O'Brien.
LIMERICK (v Clare): N Quaid; P Browne, R McCarthy, T Condon; C Allis, W McNamara, G O'Mahony; J Ryan, D O'Grady; D Hannon, D Breen, S Dowling; S O'Brien, N Moran, M Ryan.
WEXFORD (SH v Antrim): E Martin; B Kenny, M O'Hanlon, B Kehoe; D Stamp, K Rossiter, C Kenny; E Quigley, J Leacy; R Kehoe, D O'Keefe, PJ Nolan; T O'Leary, G Sinnott, G Moore.
KERRY (SH v Westmeath): B Rochford; R Horgan, T Murnane, P Costello; J Godley, J Casey, C Harris; D Dineen, J Griffin; D O'Connell, M Boyle, W Dwyer; P Boyle, S Brick, S Nolan.