There is an air of uncertainty around how much Galway, or any county for that matter, can affect the Football Championship this year.
However, speaking on Thursday's OTB AM former All-Ireland winner with Galway Michael Meehan said that despite a quieter feeling around the county this year, Galway can still mount a Championship challenge if they can get their best players back on the pitch after injuries.
While Galway had a blazing run in the National Football League and arrived into the Championship in strong form, this year their league campaign was far more mixed, albeit with considerable injuries and players otherwise occupied by Corofin's run in the All-Ireland Club Championship.
“I think they have it in them to push any team this year. But, everything has to go right. Everyone has to be on the pitch and that's not something they've had a lot this year", Meehan commented.
“They've had quite a number of injuries and long-term injuries to key players and I think that will have a big bearing on how their season goes whether they can get those players back or not.”
Due to the number of players missing across swathes of the season, Galway have tried to blood a number of new players – something which could potentially stand to them. Meehan also pointed to new coach Kevin Stritch who he said could yet still have a big effect in conjunction with the return of stars such as Damien Comer.
“He is a very attack-minded coach and some of the work they have been doing is very attack-minded. We haven’t really seen it during the league but that was with a skeleton squad.
“The two Championship games so far didn't set the world on fire but I think they will be pushing toward unleashing their offensive players which are their best players.”
That being said, Meehan emphasised that even if Galway can employ a more attacking style of play it will not be to the detriment of their defensive system that has become the staple characteristic of Kevin Walsh’s reign.
“Defence is still going to be the key cornerstone to everything that they do.
It has got them so far so they are not just going to throw it out. They just need to marry a little bit more attacking freedom and fluency to it. That will give them a real chance of being competitive in the latter stages.”
While Meehan is keen to see more attacking football he says it won’t be Galway’s priority in this weekend’s Connacht Championship final against Roscommon, which he predicts to be a “tight" affair.
“Objective number one [for Galway] will be to shut down those Roscommon forwards because when their confidence is up, which I'm sure it is, they are not going to fear Galway", Meehan posited.
Galway and Roscommon will throw in at 4 pm on Sunday in Pearse Stadium, Galway.