Galway will provide tough test for U21s

Although most of the focus for the coming weekend is on our league clash with Donegal on Sunday, it’s an important weekend for Tony Duffy’s U21 side too. We got a bye into the provincial semi-final this year and today our opponents in that penultimate round fixture were confirmed as Galway. The young Tribesmen easily took care of Sligo’s challenge in this afternoon’s preliminary round tie at Tuam Stadium, winning by an eyebrow-raising 1-20 to 0-7.

We’ve had a lean few years at U21 level, following the heady provincial four-in-a-row we’d enjoyed during the Holmes, Connelly and Collins era, an era that also delivered in 2006 – our most recent All-Ireland title at this level. Ray Dempsey’s stint as U21 manager was, unlike his time in charge of the minors, an unhappy one. ¬†Under Ray’s three-year watch we failed to reach a single Connacht U21 final, let alone win any, with Roscommon putting paid to our hopes in each of these three years.

Tony Duffy had mixed fortunes as minor manager but he’s now been given the chance to test his mettle at U21 level. Going on today’s performance by Galway the first test that Tony faces this coming Saturday is a formidable one and, with no backdoor safety net at this level, it’ll be a case of do-or-die for the U21s at Tuam Stadium on Saturday. The match throws in at 4pm that afternoon, by the way, with Roscommon’s Paddy Neilan reffing it.

While we’re on the subject of refs, it’s been confirmed that Marty Duffy will take charge of Sunday’s league clash with Donegal. The Sligo whistler also reffed our league match with the O’Donnell County last year and that was also the most recent occasion that we’ve come across him.

10 thoughts on “Galway will provide tough test for U21s

  1. We will not fear Galway on Saturday. The only person we should fear on Sunday is the referee. If he wants to play the game HIS way, like the last league game against Donegal it will be a poor game, he ruined that game. I will give him the benifit of doubt now but i wont hold my breath. Looking at our crop of Under 21 players, if we play as a team I think we will take beating. I,m sure Tony Duffy and Co have a game plan.

  2. Hard Luck. I have been to all the u21 games involving mayo teams for many years now. I would be less confident of coming away with a win from a galway venue that you are. firstly I believe that galway have assembled a fine team this year, and alan mulholland has proved his worth at this level in the past. Mayo teams since connelly and co departed have been average at best, and deserving second to the rossies. During this time we relied heavly on the personnel of previous minors teams. Many of these boys did not reproduce the form they showed as minors and it is fair to say that many of the houseold names had not improved in the subsequent years. Some of these boys I had turned up to watch their progress were in a word dissapointing. I have come to the conclusion that picking a team of u21 players exclusively from previous minor lineouts is a flawed approach. It fails to take into account an important event that takes place in the lives of our teenagers as they approach their 20’s. I believe that teenagers discover their own ambission at this stage in their development. Some of our best people in society and in sport do not always show their true potential as teens but start to blossom in their late teens and early adolesence. I will study the team sheet on saturday to see if mr duffy has discovered some, unlike his predecessor.

  3. It was a decent win today for the Galway lads but to put it in context that was a dreadful Sligo team. Nobody will be reading anything into the final scoreline.
    Also, 2 of the best players on the team Tom Flynn & Peader og O Griofa (both senior panellists) are out injured, while another Daithi Burke is just coming back from injury and may or may not be fit enough to participate.
    Alan Mulholland isn’t over the Galway u21s this year. Alan Flynn is the manager.

  4. Hard luck espousing the losers mentality of blaming the ref before a ball is even kicked.

  5. Galwayman my understanding is that Alan Mullholland is part of the u21 backroom team with Declan Meehan and Paul Clancy. You are right though Alan Flynn is the manager. Tom Flynn is back in training but O’Griofa is a big loss. He is out for the year and we could do with him at senior as well. Flynn will be an addition to the senior set up as he is a very tall natural fielder (something we have missed since the days of Big Kevin and Sean O’Domhnaill. Just needs to fill out more for the cut and thrust of senior. My Mayo sources tell me this is indeed a talented Mayo bunch so the game on Sat will be close.

  6. Really looking forward to this weekend and i don’t know why tbh , we are the outsiders in both games but i believe itsgoing to be a great weekend for Mayo football, genuinely excited about both games.

    I understand people thinking we have been beaten at 21 level last 3 years but this was a serious minor team in 10 and players like kirby/cillian/coen the gallagher lad from last years minor .Its one chance salon so i just hope they play to their ability.

    Come on Mayo, lets get this year up and runnin right.

  7. A big game for Cilian double YPOY he should be leading these lads to victory and I believe me will. Himself and Forde has a great understanding at minor. With Forde feeding him with ball and him finishing. Let’s hope for a repeat on Saturday.

  8. Sean Burke says:
    March 20, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    I understand people thinking we have been beaten at 21 level last 3 years but this was a serious minor team in 10 and players like kirby/cillian/coen the gallagher lad from last years minor .Its one chance salon so i just hope they play to their ability.
    Come on Mayo, lets get this year up and runnin right.

    Apart from Gallagher all those guys played against injury hit Galway last year and was lucky to beat them. New manager now maybe Mayo u21s will be better this year.

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