Thursday 18 July 2019

Galway boss Kevin Walsh hit with double blow as brothers opt out of panel for 2019

Patrick Sweeney of Galway celebrates against Kerry
Patrick Sweeney of Galway celebrates against Kerry

John Fallon

Galway manager Kevin Walsh will have to plan without twins Patrick and Cathal Sweeney after they opted out of the squad for 2019.

And Walsh, whose fifth year in charge of the Tribesmen kicks off on Sunday when they take on old rivals Mayo in the semi-finals of the FBD League, will also be without experienced forward Adrian Varley for most of the league.

Varley is to undergo surgery on a troublesome shoulder injury which is set to sideline him for several weeks.

"It's unfortunate as Adrian contributed a lot to us last year but hopefully he will be back before too long once this is sorted out.

"There will be opportunities for others when club action and injuries are taken into account, but that's what it is all about," said the former All-Ireland winning midfielder.

The versatile Sweeney twins, who are also from Walsh's club Killannin, have opted out due to other commitments this year but the Galway manager said the door was open to them if they are in a position to return.

The twins, who turned 28 this week, have been an integral part of Galway squads in recent years with Patrick finding the net last summer to seal their first championship win over Kerry in 53 years.

Walsh, who has recently welcomed back Liam Silke after he spent the summer in America and Cillian McDaid, who had a year playing Aussie Rules, said they had to take the demands on players into account.

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"Since we took charge we have tried to take have players' welfare into account as much as possible.

"The demands on players are huge and there are other commitments for them as well so we need to try be as accommodating as possible.

"Hopefully, Patrick and Cathal will be able to come back, they have contributed a lot to us in the past few years," added Walsh.

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