The Connacht Minor Football Championship kicks off on Wednesday (2nd May) when Mayo take on Leitrim but Galway’s attempts at a fourth consecutive crown begin on Friday when they host Roscommon.
It’s a new era for the grade. The age limit has changed from under 18 to under 17. And for 2018, Connacht will have a round-robin format with the five counties battling for two final spots in July.
The new format guarantees every team four games compared to just the one they had before reaching the provincial final. The Tribesmen play two matches against Roscommon and Sligo before they take the Leaving Certificate break.
Finals Score Connacht Minor Semi Final Galway 1-13 Roscommon 1-06. Galway through to the Connacht Final v Sligo. https://t.co/cT62Gt07QI
— Tribesmen GAA (@TribesmenGAA) June 28, 2017
And they’ll be back on June 29th to face Mayo before finishing out their campaign away to Leitrim. A Connacht Final appearance also guarantees two more games as eight teams will contest the quarter-finals.
The team are managed by Donal O Fatharta and his management team includes Enda Daly, Cossie Gilmore and Des Sheerin.
Galway are captained by Glenamaddy’s Conor Raftery who’ll line out at midfield with Moycullen’s Paul Kelly. The vice-captain is Salthill/Knocknacarra’s Cathal Sweeney who forms the half back line with Oughterard’s Ryan Monaghan and Corofin’s Tony Gill.
Galway City and West beat Roscommon in the 2017 under 16 Ted Webb Cup Final. And they came through Galway North at the semi-final stage. Thirteen players between both teams start this game. They also beat Roscommon in last year’s minor semi-final but that will have no effect with the new age limit putting two years between the respective sides.
It’s a tough opener for Galway but victory will put them in a good position. With Roscommon, Mayo and Galway the three favourites, both counties will see this as an ‘effective’ semi-final. Recent results suggest Galway, with home advantage, will get over the line.
Galway Team: Donie Halleran; Conor Halbard, Sean Black, Cian Deane; Ryan Monaghan, Tony Gill, Cathal Sweeney; Paul Kelly, Conor Raftery; Liam Judge, Aidan Halloran, Oisin McCormack; Oisin Gormley, Daniel Cox, Matthew Cooley.
Substitutes: Conor Carroll, Odhran Dooley, Ruairi McSweeney, Cian Hernon, Shane O’Donnell, James McLoughlin, Eanna McCormack, Dylan Joyce, Eoghan Tinney.
Connacht under 17 Football Championship Fixtures
Friday, 4th May
GALWAY vs Roscommon (7pm Tuam Stadium)
Friday, 11th May
Sligo vs GALWAY (7pm Markievicz Park)
Friday, 29th June
GALWAY vs Mayo (7pm, Venue TBC)
Friday, 6th July
Leitrim vs GALWAY (7pm, Venue TBC)
Friday, 13th July
Connacht Minor Football Final (5pm, Venue TBC)