Galway boss Alan Mulholland is to cut his squad ahead of the National Football League after trying out new players in the Connacht FBD League.
“We wanted to give the young lads a chance to see who is good enough at this level, and the lads we have brought in have done well and shown they are up to it,” said Mulholland after Sunday’s win over Sligo.
“What we are trying to do now is get down to the 30 or 35 players we are going to carry for the Allianz League, and we will do that in the next week to 10 days. Finalizing the panel will be very difficult. The problem you have is with the lads that are not under-21 anymore. There is no safety net for them.
“If we don’t carry them into the League panel then they go back to their clubs and, with all respect to the clubs, the training they will be doing would not be as intense as we will be doing at inter-county level.
“Those are the real heartbreaking decisions for me, and how to keep them involved when they are not going to be playing regular games with us is the real challenge.”
The GAA is to investigate disgraceful scenes at the All-Ireland junior club semifinal in Portlaoise on Sunday when Tyrone’s Derrytresk defeated Kerry side Dromid Pearses.
A brawl erupted just before halftime while Dromid’s Kerry star Declan O’Sullivan was struck by a handbag amidst ugly scenes at the end of the game.
Dromid selector and Kerry county board officer Diarmuid O Se has complained about a lack of security for players and called on the GAA to investigate using video evidence.
O'Se said, “While Derrytresk beat us comprehensively on the day, I thought that some of the scenes out there were some of the most disgraceful I have ever witnessed at a football game.
“I cannot understand how the GAA can allow this to happen. There was no security there today for our players.”
Derrytresk are due to face Clonbur of Galway in the JFC Final on 12 February.
Ready to Return
Injured Kildare duo Dermot Earley and Hugh Lynch should be ready to return to the county squad in two months.
“They are going well at the minute, probably the best-case scenario is around March some time,” said Kildare manager Kieran McGeeney after his team beat Dublin in the O’Byrne Cup semifinal on Sunday.
The win marked McGeeney’s first victory over the Dubs, but he refused to dwell on it.
“It seemed to be more important for the media than it was for me. For the players at this time of the year the big thing is to stake a claim to a place against Tyrone for the first round of the NFL and try to keep it,” he added.
Kildare have turned down a request from college side DCU to play the O’Byrne Cup final as a midweek fixture and insist it will go ahead on Sunday as planned.
Tipp Top Shape
Tipperary hurling boss Declan Ryan was more than pleased with his team’s progress after they beat Limerick IT in the preliminary round of the Waterford Crystal Cup on Sunday.
“We have to be pleased with the victory and the manner in which we went about it,” said Ryan.
“We are a lot more advanced this time round than we were last year and I supposed that showed out there too. We have a few new lads out there at the moment and we are giving them a chance because they have shown up well in training.”
Meanwhile, Tipp’s footballers will meet Cork in the McGrath Cup final on Sunday after beating UCC in the semi-final in Clonmel on Sunday.
Tipp boss John Evans said, “We will welcome Cork and they don’t need anybody to tell them how good they are. They are at the start of the year, the same as ourselves, and at least we will be playing somebody that is at the same level of fitness.
“It is a big challenge but we set a target of trying to get to the McGrath Cup final.”