Tuesday 27 September 2016

College and county trends a concern for Galway

Published 27/01/2016 | 02:30

'As Connacht’s biggest county, it’s embarrassing for Galway to be behind Mayo and Sligo on the colleges ‘A’ list'. Stock photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach / Sportsfile
'As Connacht’s biggest county, it’s embarrassing for Galway to be behind Mayo and Sligo on the colleges ‘A’ list'. Stock photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach / Sportsfile

These are worrying times for Galway football.

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Apart from cowering under Mayo's giant thumb for seven years and the short-term concern of being without several first choices for the start of Division 2, there's the broader issue of what's happening at colleges level.

St Jarlath's, Tuam are Galway's only representatives in the Connacht 'A' championship, whereas Mayo have three (St Gerald's, Castlebar, St Colman's, Claremorris, St Muredeach's, Ballina).

Sligo are doubly represented with Summerhill College and St Attracta's, Tubbercurry, with the pair showing their quality by being the top two in the recent League.

Roscommon CBS, who have been eliminated from the championship, were the seventh team in the group.

St Jarlath's is now a day-school and no longer the powerhouse that provided so many famous maroon-and-white players but is still the only college taking up the Galway challenge.

As Connacht's biggest county, it's embarrassing for Galway to be behind Mayo and Sligo on the colleges 'A' list.

It raises questions about schools activity, especially in the city, where at least one college would be expected to make an impression.

Another unusual aspect of Galway football was in evidence against Roscommon last Sunday where, of the 27 players named on the programme, only nine were from the north of the county, an area associated with successful teams over the years.

It applied to the All-Ireland three-in-a-row team in 1964-66 and again in 1998 and 2001 when ten of the starting teams that won All-Ireland titles were from north Galway.

What's gone wrong?

Irish Independent

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