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Dublin: 7 °C Tuesday 17 September, 2019
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One of Galway's key men in 2015 back fit before All-Ireland semi-final against Tipperary

Iarla Tannian could make first championship appearance of 2016.

Iarla Tannian celebrates Galway's All-Ireland semi-final win over Tipperary last year.
Iarla Tannian celebrates Galway's All-Ireland semi-final win over Tipperary last year.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

IARLA TANNIAN COULD be poised to make his first championship appearance this summer to give Galway manager Micheal Donoghue a perfect boost ahead of their All-Ireland semi-final showdown with Tipperary on Sunday week.

Tannian, a key figure in Galway’s march to the All-Ireland final last year, has been plagued by injury and was ruled out of his expected return when he suffered a hamstring injury in training 10 days before the quarter-final victory over Clare.

Donoghue said this morning that he is hopeful that the versatile Ardrahan clubman, who can play in defence, midfield or attack, will be available for the semi-final on Sunday week.

The return of the 31-year old would be a perfect boost for Donoghue as he prepares to face a Tipperary side he was involved with as part of Eamon O’Shea’s management over the past few years.

“We are not too bad right now. There are a few niggles but everything is looking really positive that we will have a full deck to choose from.

“Iarla has had a few knocks but in fairness to him he is pushing really hard now for the last ten days or so.

“He has massive experience. We have been fortunate enough this year.

“The more experienced players keep pushing and pushing and driving on the young fellas.

“Tannian is one of those. He has worked really hard now to get back in. He was injured for the game against Clare. He has been in the 26 but he has just had a few niggles but thankfully the last two weeks have gone really well for him,” said Donoghue.

Michael Donoghue Galway boss Micheal Donoghue with his management team. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Galway were comprehensive 2-17 to 0-17 victors over Clare in the quarter-final and are set to be further boosted by Conor Cooney’s return to full fitness.

Cooney was struck down by injury in recent seasons but having recovered from breaking the same foot twice, Donoghue says the St Thomas’ forward is getting fitter with every match.

“Conor has been massive, in fairness to him he has gone through two or three serious injuries. The longer we are in it the better he is going to be getting. Even since January he hadn’t a lot of fitness work and he has worked really hard.

“He is a real intelligent player. He is a big player for us. To be successful he is going to be an integral part of it. It is great first and foremost for himself to be back at this level. With every week he is just getting stronger and stronger.

Conor Cooney celebrates scoring a goal Conor Cooney celebrates his goal against Clare Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

“He would be the first to admit as well, his match fitness needs to improve. But he is working really hard and with every training session, with every week that passes he is just getting stronger and stronger.

“It’s great to have him there. He is a class player and a big personality in the group as well. It is great that he is available to us.”

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John Fallon

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