By Richard Hartmann
On the eve of Galway’s Allianz National League football opener, boss Padraic Joyce has insisted his team are “in it to win it”.
Galway’s league campaign kicks off tomorrow with a trip to Kerry, and Joyce is setting high standards for his team.
“We are in it to win it .I said to the lads from day one when they came in that every competition we enter, we try to win. So, we’ll be pushing to win it,” said Joyce.
“We’ve a real tough opener in Kerry. Kerry are difficult anyway but the fact that we’ve to go into Tralee to play them makes it even harder.
“There were 11,000 people there last year. I don’t think we’ll have even 11 people this year, so it’s a big change.”
Due to the Covid-19 disrupted season, the League has a new format this year. Division One of the League is split into two groups of four teams, North and South.
Galway are in the difficult Division One South with All-Ireland champions Dublin, League champions Kerry and provincial rivals Roscommon.
Last year, after a blistering start, Galway fell away following the lockdown to finish in third place behind Dublin and Kerry.
“We learned an awful lot last year regarding our preparation and our approach to games,” said Joyce.
“We kind of got uptight as a management team when we lost the first league game after lockdown. The players were playing with a little bit of nervousness and fear which we need to get out of them.”
Joyce has promoted two of last year’s All-Ireland winning U-20 team – Jack Glynn and Tomo Culhane -to the full senior squad.
“They’re good lads. They’re the future of Galway football. Jack was outstanding last year and Tomo is probably one of the most exciting forwards in Galway. He needs to be in with us seeing the likes of Shane Walsh and Paul Conroy playing their trade,” added Joyce.
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