Thursday 29 September 2016

New York will soon take a major scalp, warns boss O'Halloran

Published 28/04/2016 | 02:30

New York football manager Justin O'Halloran
New York football manager Justin O'Halloran

New York manager Justin O'Halloran was a selector and trainer with the Exiles back in 2010 when Galway came to the Gaelic Park.

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The Tribesmen had just recruited former Armagh All-Ireland winning manager Joe Kernan to lead their side and there was a general excitement around football in the county.

By the end of that sunny Sunday afternoon, a seven-point win was written into the record books but it didn't tell half the story. Galway scored a goal in injury-time to put a gloss on the scoreline when New York were down to 13 men.

That day, Galway just about got out of the Bronx without becoming the first side to lose Stateside. So O'Halloran is well placed to judge the merits of the current side as they prepare to welcome Roscommon this weekend.

"The 2010 team - we are pretty much on a par with them," O'Halloran said on the New York team's annual conference call with the media.

Calibre

"That was one of our best teams in a while and hopefully we can produce it on the day. Strength-wise and physical-wise we are the same calibre."

Twelve months ago New York were afforded the luxury of two challenge games against a touring Cavan side but there were no such fixtures this year, other than a trip to Philadelphia for a match.

They have lost the likes of Wexford forward PJ Banville but have picked up Galway's Johnny Duane, who lined out in for the Tribesmen in Gaelic Park last year. Galway hurler Johnny Glynn, who played in last year's All-Ireland final, is also part of the squad.

"(Glynn and Duane) are a huge addition," O'Halloran said. "They are great athletes, great talkers and great team-mates and they know how to play football. That helps.

"PJ Banville is a huge loss and a few other lads didn't make it and we picked up a few new lads. It has probably evened itself out."

O'Halloran is convinced that the Exiles will take a scalp sooner rather than later.

"It's the biggest day for GAA in New York every year and sooner or later it will happen that we'll take a scalp and hopefully it'll be this year," he said.

"And if it does, it's only going to get bigger and bigger every year, so I would love to see it keep going and I'm sure 99pc of the people in New York would love to see it keep going."

Irish Independent

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