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Galway report clean bill of health as Shefflin prepares for championship opener against Wexford

Henry Shefflin’s side take on Wexford in the Leinster SHC championship on Saturday.

Galway manager Henry Shefflin.
Galway manager Henry Shefflin.
Image: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

HENRY SHEFFLIN WILL go into his first Leinster SHC match as a manager with a clean bill of health with Galway selecting from a full hand as they travel to take on Wexford on Saturday afternoon.

The Tribesmen, who scored league wins over Offaly, Limerick and Clare but did not qualify because of losses to Wexford and Cork, have not carried forward any injuries from that campaign.

They have two long-term casualties with Shane Cooney recovering from a cruciate injury picked up when St Thomas’ were preparing for the All-Ireland club semi-final back in January, while Jason Flynn is back running after recovering from a hamstring injury picked up against Offaly in the Walsh Cup.

Selector Kevin Lally, the former St Thomas’ manager, said that they are ready to go at Chadwicks Wexford Park on Saturday with only a few niggles causing concern as they head into the championship.

“We’ve been training really hard for the last couple of weeks,” Lally said.

“Obviously when you train that hard you will pick up bumps and bruises. But we have a few guys with bumps and bruises, but we hope to be in fairly good shape for the weekend.

“Obviously Jason Flynn is a long-term injury, he is back on the field, doing a little bit of light running, and Shane Cooney is a bit further down the track.”

Lally said the primary target for now was to be one of three teams to get out of Leinster. It’s a transition period, the first year without Joe Canning and the hunger to bounce back after last season failing to win a championship match for the first time since 1999 with losses to Dublin and Waterford ending their season.

Lally said that they had tried out a lot of players since Shefflin, fellow Kilkenny man Richie O’Neill and former Galway defender Damien Joyce, took charge during the winter and he’s confident they have a good mix.

I think we used 34 players during the league. And obviously a good bit more before that in the Walsh Cup. So there’s a balance obviously between the Walsh Cup, league, the players we see and obviously then on the training blocks for the last three weeks.

“There’s obviously, in this job now, a transition period in Galway hurling, there’s obviously a large influx on the panel and the lads from over the years aren’t around.

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“So obviously you can see during the league, we have given loads of guys different game time at different stages. And thankfully a lot of them have put their hands up. And yeah, we will be picking the team on the back of, obviously, league performances and then obviously the last three weeks of training, yeah.

“We are in a very competitive Leinster championship. Let’s be straight about it, there are three places up for grabs and we want to be in one of the three places, which is going to be very, very difficult. And obviously starting at the weekend in Wexford, an away fixture down there it’s going to be a hard fixture to get off, to get up and running with. But yeah, our goal is to be in the top three in Leinster,” added Lally.

Get set for the summer by listening to The42 GAA Weekly’s Football Championship preview pod here, and get 50% off an annual membership when you sign up this week using the code CHAMPIONSHIP2022 at members.the42.ie


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