Friday 24 November 2017

Galway will stay true to attacking style - Fitzgerald

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Tomas O Flatharta placed a heavy emphasis on a defensive style of football during his time with Westmeath, but Kieran Fitzgerald expects Galway to stick with their attacking instincts.

Fitzgerald, one of a trio of captains named by new manager O Flatharta earlier this year, says all the evidence so far points to a more expansive game. In 2008 Westmeath, under O Flatharta, had a magnificent defensive record and Gary Connaughton and John Keane were both rewarded with All Stars as a consequence.

The same emphasis with Galway is unlikely to be there in the months ahead, however.

"I don't think that's the way that Galway will be trying to play football," said Fitzgerald. "Traditionally Galway try and play a long kicking game, moving the ball fast and from looking at Tomas for the last month, that probably won't change."


O Flatharta is due to finalise a league panel tonight and some familiar names could be missing. Padraic Joyce has not yet returned to training and his cousin Nicky is also out of commission -- with some speculation that he may not return at all -- while Damien Burke has yet to give an indication if he will be involved.

Michael Meehan, currently in Australia, has already been ruled out for the entire league campaign and Fitzgerald appreciates that he will be a loss: "Last year he got injured against Kerry in the league, scoring a goal in the process. He worked hard, tried to get back for the Sligo game and maybe came back too quick and broke his ankle.

"I don't know if we are going to see him in the league but the sooner we get Michael back the better."

Meehan, Finian Hanley and Fitzgerald are all co-captains.

"It's something we haven't seen (before)," said Fitzgerald of the arrangement. "Tomas is trying to build a team ethic among the panel, create a shared responsibility. It's been working well so far."

Irish Independent

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