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Future bright for Galway, says Forde

GALWAY'S U-21 captain Colin Forde has defended the county's recent senior record and believes their latest underage success will help turn things around quickly.

"I think those stories (about the seniors) have been greatly exaggerated. There's always been good footballers in Galway and I hope this proves it," he said after leading the county to their third All-Ireland U-21 title in 10 years.

"I know Galway haven't won a senior All-Ireland since 2001, but if you look back at 2002 and 2005 (their last U-21 titles) the number of players who made the step up to the senior panel has been extraordinary really, because the best underage players often don't go on to do well at senior level."

The Killererin defender, who led by example in the 10-point defeat of Cavan, has already lined out for the county seniors.

He played in six Allianz Football League games this year and several of his U-21 team-mates have also been used periodically by senior boss Tomas O Flatharta. The UCD student, who like many of his team-mates has exams this week, insisted that the Tribesmen's emerging stars won't be resting on their laurels and many are hoping to be involved with the seniors' championship campaign, which starts against either London or Mayo on June 26.

Midfielders Thomas Flynn and Fionntain O Curraoin are already being tipped as a future solution to the county's perennial problems in that area.

"The two lads are just out of minor and they've been exceptional for us," said Forde.

"Once you have a platform there, it gives you a great chance to win games. We're very fortunate to have them."

Irish Independent