Cathal Noonan/INPHO Damien Comer and Aidan O'Shea (file pic).
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'Watch out for that' - Gooch feels O'Shea could be the one to man-mark Comer
‘If Mayo want to throw something different in, this could be it.’

WITH ALL EYES on Castlebar tomorrow, one of the big questions in the build-up is who’ll be dealt the task of picking up Galway’s threatening full-forward Damien Comer.

The Annaghdown man is in fine form at the moment and starred throughout the Tribesmen’s Allianz Football League Division 1 campaign.

After their 0-18 to 0-14 decider loss to Dublin in Croke Park last month, Galway will be keen to make amends and get their summer started on the right note in the eagerly-awaited Connacht quarter-final against Mayo at Elverys MacHale Park.

Comer starts, as expected, at full-forward while according to Stephen Rochford’s team-sheet, Ballina Stephenites’ Ger Cafferkey slots into full-back for Mayo.

That said, it’s expected there may be a switch and Kerry great Colm Cooper feels that Aidan O’Shea could be the man for the job of man-marking Galway’s main threat.

O’Shea has been given the number 11 jersey but Gooch wouldn’t be surprised if he drops back to play a similar role to that of he did against the Kingdom — man-marking Kieran Donaghy — in their 2017 All-Ireland semi-final and replay.

“Comer’s been excellent for Galway, he was very good last year but he has stepped it up a notch or two this year,” Cooper told RTÉ’s Saturday Sport.

“Given his size, Ger Cafferkey looks the most equipped to deal with him. When I look at the Mayo defence they probably don’t match up size-wise.

“But we have seen Kieran Donaghy with Aidan O’Shea beside him last year so if Mayo want to throw something different in and that is something they have done in the past, this could be it. Watch out for that.

“It will be interesting. I don’t think the teams will set up as selected so we will have to watch early on and see how that manifests itself.”

Kieran Donaghy and Aidan O’Shea James Crombie / INPHO Donaghy and O'Shea last summer. James Crombie / INPHO / INPHO

Interestingly, after the first meeting of Mayo and Kerry last summer, Cooper told The Sunday Game: ”It was a bizarre decision, we felt anyway, playing Aidan O’Shea back there. I’d be very surprised if he was still back there next weekend.”

On tomorrow’s showdown in general, Cooper added earlier:

“It’s going to be interesting to see how Galway come into this match and the season in general. In seasons gone by there hasn’t been huge expectation on them but that expectation has certainly built over the last few weeks.

“They are probably going into the Mayo match as slight favourites which is a difficult place to be but I haven’t seen anything from Galway that would suggest they can’t handle that sort of pressure.

“There is enough experienced players there to be ready and I don’t think they will be fazed. I’m marginally going for Galway because I think they are further down the road.”

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