Sunday 26 March 2017

Galway must rebuild with young talent after 'massive loss' - Hanley

John Fallon

Galway defender Finian Hanley is confident that the future is bright for the Tribesmen despite the difficulties encountered in the opening weeks of the National League.

Hanley, one of three joint- captains named by new manager Tomás Ó Flatharta, said that the withdrawals of experienced duo Kieran Fitzgerald and Niall Coleman were blown out of proportion.

But he feels that if Galway are to succeed, then they need to introduce new talent -- and he reckons Ó Flatharta is on course to do that.

"We are a team that is trying to build again and we must look to the future. We have not brought enough through in the past few years and Tomás is anxious to do that," said the 26-year old.

"We need to start bringing forward new talent, maybe the minors from 2007. We are trying to blood a few players and we'll be using the league for that.

"On Sunday, guys like Colin Forde and Danny Cummins came in and they did well. They will learn from playing National League games. These games really bring players on, but it takes time."

unrest

Hanley said that stories of unrest in the Galway camp were wide of the mark. "I don't know where all the stories last week came from. Training is going well, lads are happy. Of course it's a big loss to lose two experienced players," he said.

"Fitzy has given 12 years to Galway football and owes it nothing and Niall is still only 25, so hopefully he will be back but his decision is understandable given the work situation. They are a massive loss. Other counties such as Kerry or Kilkenny lost a few players and struggled to cope, so we need to deal with that and find new talent."

Hanley reckons Sunday's clash with Mayo will be a huge game for both counties.

"There is no doubt Sunday's game is a relegation clash. They have a point, we have none so obviously the outcome of this one could decide a lot. But a win on Sunday can turn it right around.

"Galway-Mayo clashes are always brilliant. There is something special about these games," he said.

Hanley said Galway were not getting distracted by the stories of unrest in the camp.

"The biggest issue is that we have played two matches and have no points," he said. "But we are trying to improve every day and if we can blood players along the way, then it will be a good campaign.

"Tomás has brought fresh ideas, he's very much a players' man. The most important thing is that we are improving with every training session, every match and we'll build from there."

Irish Independent

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