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Dublin: 14 °C Wednesday 14 November, 2018
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Shock as goalkeeper James Skehill quits Galway hurling squad

Skehill quit squad ahead of Galway’s defeat against Kilkenny last weekend.

Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

GALWAY HURLERS HAVE suffered a massive blow with experienced goalkeeper James Skehill quitting the squad.

The shock decision came before their defeat to Kilkenny on Sunday, with Skehill deciding to quit after training on Friday night.

Skehill was vying with Colm Callanan for the number one shirt for the Tribesmen this year after being first choice stopper for the last two seasons under Cunningham, but after battling back from a serious shoulder injury Skehill has decided to walk away from the squad.

The abrupt nature of Skehill’s departure forced Galway to call up Aidan Ryan as Callanan’s cover for the clash with Kilkenny on Sunday and according to selector Damien Curley, the Tribesmen were stunned by the news.

“There is no real spin to put on it at all, James just told us after training on Friday night that he wanted to leave the panel.

“We spoke with him and tried to talk him round, but he was adamant he wanted to leave. He works in Cong and I think the long drive over and back to training might have something to do with it. Apart from that I don’t know why he might have decided to leave,” Curley said.

Skehill started both of Galway’s All-Ireland finals against Kilkenny in 2012, but picked up a shoulder injury in the final training session before the replay. Despite dislocating his shoulder Skehill was declared fit for the second game but was forced off at half-time in that match.

This year Callanan appeared to have the march on the Cappataggle man, but Skehill recently started the inter-provincial final against Leinster at Croke Park.

And Curley admitted he was surprised to see him go after the slog of early season was now behind the Galway hurlers.

“It is a strange time to go alright, and James was a great lad to train as well. It is unusual for a lad to cash in their chips at this stage of the season. It really came out of the blue for us and I got a shock myself.

“But Aidan Ryan will be training with us this week and we’ll get to have a right look at him now. The most important thing this week is to try and engineer a win against Tipperary. It’s a winner takes all match,” he said.

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Declan Rooney

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