Tuesday 25 April 2017

Cummins urges Galway young guns to seize chance

Danny Cummins of Galway has issued a rallying call to young players (Stock picture)
Danny Cummins of Galway has issued a rallying call to young players (Stock picture)

Daragh Small and Jackie Cahill

Galway's Danny Cummins has urged the rising talent in the county to grasp their opportunity and make the Tribesmen a force on the national stage again.

The reigning Connacht champions have opened 2017 brightly and after retaining the FBD League, their bid for promotion from Division 2 has yielded three points from a possible four, including an impressive 1-13 to 0-10 victory on the road against Fermanagh.

Emerging players like Barry McHugh, Michael Daly and Cillian McDaid are making an impression with Kevin Walsh's side progressing steadily but Galway have a record of failing to perform on the biggest stage in recent years.

Despite plenty of promise in 2016, beating Roscommon and Mayo in the Connacht SFC, they succumbed meekly to Tipperary in the All-Ireland quarter-final and Claregalway attacker Cummins feels the younger Galway players need experience at this time of the year if they want to perform come summer.

"It's good to have the young lads coming through, no more than last year and the year before, in the FBD League. Kevin gives these guys a chance and they take it. Some of them have shown up well early in the league, it's good for them experience-wise, and it's good for us going forward as a team," he said.

Special

With talent from their 2011 and 2013 All-Ireland U-21 wins starting to graduate to the senior scene, the 26-year-old Cummins knows that if Galway get the blend right they could be onto something special.

"The years pass you by unbeknown to yourself, I was always one of the younger guys coming through and now I'd be in the elderly age bracket," he said. "But it's good, it's competitive and that's what we need, everyone fighting for their place. It's enjoyable to have that dynamic with the young and old around.

"At this stage of the year it's about grafting out results and getting the points on the board. I'm looking forward to the summer, the dry sod is what it's all about. But with the youth we have, it's more about getting experience into the lads in these competitive games before the championship comes around."

Elsewhere, Slaughtneil's march to the All-Ireland club football final is good news for Division 3 promotion hopefuls Sligo as Brendan Egan returns from club duty with St Vincent's for Sunday's clash away to Antrim.

Manager Niall Carew also confirmed that classy wing-back Keelan Cawley will only miss a few weeks with a shoulder injury picked up in their win over Tipp, while attacker Pat Hughes, former All-Star Charlie Harrison and Cian Breheny could contend for a place away to Antrim.

Irish Independent

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