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Sice eyes Galway return after 'heart was broken' by axe

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Galway footballer Gary Sice played a leading role in Corofin's Connacht club final victory last Sunday and hopes he will get the chance to represent his county again soon. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

Galway footballer Gary Sice played a leading role in Corofin's Connacht club final victory last Sunday and hopes he will get the chance to represent his county again soon. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

SPORTSFILE

Galway footballer Gary Sice played a leading role in Corofin's Connacht club final victory last Sunday and hopes he will get the chance to represent his county again soon. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

GALWAY footballer Gary Sice has revealed he was "heartbroken" not to have been included on the county panel last summer and said he would love to be part of new manager Kevin Walsh's plans.

He has shown excellent form with his club Corofin and played a leading role again in their Connacht club final victory last Sunday.

Sice did line out for the county during this year's National League but was not included in the panel for the Championship, reportedly due to a falling-out with manager Alan Mulholland.

Asked if he missed his inter-county involvement Sice said: "Of course I did. My heart was broken at the start of the summer.

"I hope people know now that it wasn't me, and now you know why I should have been there. I felt I had a point to prove," he said after winning the man of the match award against Ballintubber.

"I love playing for Galway and if the door is open I will go back there.

"The lads that were there put on a huge display in Croke Park and brought back a lot of pride to the Galway jersey," Sice said of the Tribesmen reaching the Connacht final and All-Ireland quarter-finals last summer, when they were knocked out by Kerry.

"Like anyone else, if I get a chance again, I would love to do it," said the 30-year-old primary school teacher, who works in his home parish of Belclare.

Last Sunday's victory has seen six-time Connacht champions Corofin installed as favourites for the All-Ireland title, with their odds cut from 9/4 to 13/8.

They have a quarter-final against Tir Chonail Gaels on the weekend of December 13/14, to see who will play the Leinster champions in the semi-finals.

"Our next game is in London and that is the one that we are worried about," Sice stressed.

"We'll be back training on Wednesday night. Our goal is to get to Christmas and to be still in the championship and we have one game to go.

Last weekend's victory marked Corofin's first Connacht crown since they did two in-a-row in 2008 and '09 and it left them just one win short of the record seven won by Roscommon's Clann na nGael.

Yet while Clann won seven Connacht titles from 1982-89 they never managed to push on and land an All-Ireland, which Corofin did in 1998, when they were the first club from the province to go all the way.

Sice wasn't the only Corofin player to catch the eye last week, and Gary Delaney did it through more than his good form.

He lined out wearing a transparent protective face-mask, like the one that Premiership soccer players like Petr Cech and Fernando Torres have used.

Delaney needed surgery after suffering a broken eye socket in a league game during Corofin's run to the Galway title and last Sunday was his first game back. He is expected to retain the mask again in their next game.

Irish Independent