Monday 5 December 2016

Galway hurlers look to youth as five stalwarts left out of training squad

John Fallon

Published 28/10/2016 | 09:34

Iarla Tannian has been axed from Galway squad
Iarla Tannian has been axed from Galway squad

Galway hurling manager Micheal Donoghue is turning to youth in a bid to end the county’s All-Ireland famine with five long-serving not included in a 40-man squad for winter training.

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Former captains David Collins, Fergal Moore and Andy Smith, along with other experienced performers such as Cyril Donnellan and Iarla Tannian, have not been included in the squad which has commenced conditioning training.

Players have been told that it is an open-ended squad and that changes could be made before the national league begins.

Donoghue, who was only appointed a few days before Christmas last year, is heading into his first full winter of preparation and has assembled a training squad with a strong leaning towards youth.

Promising underage such as Sean Loftus, Sean McInerney, Thomas Monaghan, Dan Nevin, Kevin McHugo, Gavin Lally and Michael Conneely are among the newcomers drafted in.

And with a host of others such as Matthew Keating, Shane Moloney, Padraig Brehony, Kevin Hussey and Eanna Burke expected to step having had some exposure to this level, team manager Donoghue and his selectors will have a new-look Galway side heading into the 2017 campaign.

The departure of the five experienced players — Moore, Collins and Tannian are former All-Stars — will bring an era to an end in Galway.

The five were a senior part of the squad which staged a successful heave against manager Anthony Cunningham last year, shortly after they were defeated by Kilkenny in an All-Ireland final replay.

The new Galway squad will be put through their paces by Polish native Lukasz Kirszenstein who has joined the Tribesmen from All-Ireland champions Tipperary.

Galway, relegated last season, will open their NHL Division 1B campaign away to Offaly on February 12.

Galway will meet Dublin in the quarter-finals of the Leinster SHC next summer as they bid to end their All-Ireland famine which stretches back to 1988.

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