Friday 3 February 2023 Dublin: 10°C
Andy Marlin/INPHO The New York side that was defeated by Galway in 2015.
New York boss: 'Sooner or later we'll take a scalp... hopefully it'll be this year'
Justin O’Halloran is optimistic ahead of Sunday’s Connacht SFC opener against Roscommon.

GAELIC PARK IN the Bronx will once again play host to the first piece of senior inter-county football championship action of the year on Sunday when New York face Roscommon in the Connacht SFC preliminary round (9.00pm Irish time).

New York have been on the wrong end of some heavy defeats in the last few years, but manager Justin O’Halloran believes his current side is just as strong as the one that pushed Galway close in 2010, before eventually losing by seven points.

Unlike Roscommon, New York haven’t benefitted from FBD League and Allianz League campaigns to gear up for this weekend’s fixture.

The Exiles have been restricted to a couple of in-house games, as well as a challenge match in Philadelphia, as they prepare to take on a side who have already overcome the likes of Kerry, Donegal and Cork in 2016.

New York will have former Galway hurler Johnny Glynn available on Sunday and they’ll be captained by Johnny Duane — who played against them last year for the Tribesmen.

“The bunch of lads we have here and the respect they give us as manager and the rest of the selectors is huge and immense, and they’ve done whatever we’ve asked them to do,” said O’Halloran.

“They’ve made our job very easy. It’s just a matter of finishing it off and hopefully on Sunday, for 70 minutes, we can do it.”

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Connor, OHalloran, Duane Justin O'Halloran flanked by New York players Brian Connor and Johnny Duane.

The one-sided nature of New York’s recent championship fixtures has led to questions over the merits of their involvement at this level.

However, O’Halloran is adamant that they deserve their place and it’s only a matter of time before they cause an upset.

He said: “It’s the biggest day for GAA in New York every year and sooner or later it will happen that we’ll take a scalp. Hopefully it’ll be this year.

“If it does, it’s only going to get bigger and bigger every year so I personally would love to see it keep going and I’m sure 99% of the people in New York would love to see it keep going.”

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