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Two experienced players back to give Galway football a lift in 2017

Johnny Duane and Sean Armstrong are returning to help the Tribesmen.

pjimage (3) Galway's Sean Armstrong and Johnny Duane are set for a 2017 comeback.

THE RETURN OF defender Johnny Duane and forward Sean Armstrong to the Galway football camp can provide a lift for the Tribesmen ahead of the 2017 season.

Damien Comer was a key component of the Galway side in 2016 that made notable progress in sweeping to the Connacht title before they crashed out of the All-Ireland series with a convincing quarter-final loss to Tipperary.

But the return of Duane from the United States and the decision of Armstrong to accept an invitation to rejoin a panel that he left two years, citing a loss of appetite for the inter-county game, is a boost to the Galway panel.

Both players are former All-Ireland U21 winners, Duane in 2011 and Armstrong in 2005. Duane last featured in the championship in 2015 against Donegal while Armstrong played most recently in 2014 against Kerry.

“It’s a building process,” says Comer.

Independent.ie Higher Education GAA Senior Championships Launch & Draw Damien Comer at yesterday's Sigerson Cup draw in Croke Park Source: Seb Daly/SPORTSFILE

“There’s a mixture, even some young lads coming in from U21 or minor panels that are joining the training.

“With the experience of ‘Army coming back as well, that’s going to be a big boost because he had a great year with this club.

“It is great to see him back. He is a clinical forward, it’s maybe something, another aspect to our game that we need.

“With Johnny (Duane) back from the States, (and) the positive winning mentality of the Corofin boys when they rejoin the panel as well, hopefully it’s going to be worth a big push next year.”

Comer does not foresee problems for 31 year-old Armstrong in readjusting to life in the inter-county arena.

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Sean Armstrong with Liam Silke Sean Armstrong in action in the recent Galway county senior final Source: Tommy Grealy/INPHO

“With his mentality I don’t think it will be a problem to him. He has been around the block now.

“He knows the ins and outs of the county set-up and he’s experienced it. It will be getting used to Kevin and his systems and his tactics, that’s going to be the biggest change for him probably.

“Other than that, I think he’s well equipped the way the county set up is run. Obviously the break might have given him the bit of hunger that he wanted to get back in this year.”

Annaghdown club man Comer believes Galway can ‘take great encouragement’ as well from the exploits of Corofin, recently crowned Connacht club champions and preparing for an All-Ireland semi-final against Dr Crokes in February.

Conor Cunningham, Daithi Burke, Jason Leonard and Kevin Murphy celebrate after the game Corofin players celebrate their Connacht club final win. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

“It’s pretty much the same as when they won the All-Ireland a couple of years ago. They will come back in, in their own time.

“They are training away hard with Corofin at the moment and it will be a boost then when they come back in and join the panel properly training.

“They are flying it at the moment so you can take great encouragement from them as well.”

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Fintan O'Toole

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