Thursday 18 January 2018

Gavin making strong case for inclusion against Dubs

Westmeath's Kieran Gavin
Westmeath's Kieran Gavin
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Kieran Gavin looks poised for a recall to the Westmeath team ahead of Sunday's Leinster football final against Dublin.

Gavin, who has been out of action since tearing his Achilles in a club match with Mullingar Shamrocks last August, came through a challenge against Mayo last weekend and his form has impressed manager Tom Cribbin.

"He was very good. Every single week he's getting better and better and sharper. You'd love to have three or four more weeks, but we don't," Cribbin said.

Callum McCormack is also fit to play after a recent hamstring injury and will add to their forward options. Cribbin believes those options are plentiful but the constraints of the modern game make it impossible for him to get the most out of them all.

"With the type of player that it requires to win at this level, it's about getting the balance. Like I've five or six really top-class forwards. The problem is, in the modern game, the 'max' you can nearly play inside is two forwards. In very few games can you play with three inside.

"The six really top-class forwards I have all need to play in the inside line. And unfortunately I can't play six in the inside line. So you've to try and get the best combination, two of them playing together as a unit, if you want to get the most out of them."


Longford expect to be boosted by the return of captain Dermot Brady for the All-Ireland qualifier against Kildare on Saturday.

The Longford Slashers' star, who made his championship debut against Wicklow in 2001, was ill prior to their impressive 2-12 to 1-12 victory over Clare last weekend.

Manager Jack Sheedy decided not to risk the 33-year-old and slotted Cian Farrelly in at right corner-back.

"Dermot should be fine for this weekend, he had been sick during the week and he just didn't feel right during the warm-up in Ennis," Sheedy said. "You can't take a chance with a guy that is not right so we were forced into making the decision to make a change."

Galway will need to win at least two games in the All-Ireland qualifiers if star forward Shane Walsh is to see any further championship action this summer.

Galway head to Armagh on Sunday in Round 2B of the All-Ireland qualifiers, with the winners out again the following week in the next round.

The 22-year old suffered a hand injury in a fatal car accident in Galway last month and still has two or three weeks to go before he makes it back, according to manager Kevin Walsh.

"He is still a few weeks away so I suppose it is up to us to remain the championship, but we are looking no further than Armagh."

Irish Independent

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