The first weekend of January traditionally sees the resumption of inter-county action and this year is no exception, with the first round of matches in the FBD League taking place tomorrow. Our lads obviously aren’t playing this weekend as they’re still enjoying their well-deserved break over in Miami and their first round match against GMIT has been fixed instead for Wednesday, 16th January.
Galway get their 2013 campaign underway tomorrow when they face NUIG in their Section A match at Tuam Stadium (throw-in 2pm). This is Alan Mulholland’s second year in charge of the Tribesmen and a pivotal year it could be for his team too, as they’ll be looking to make amends following the desperately disappointing end to their 2012 championship campaign. With Padraic Joyce and Joe Bergin having both retired, there are going to be a number of new faces lining out in the Maroon and White this year and no doubt there’ll be plenty of experimentation in the team named for tomorrow’s match.
Also in Section A, IT Sligo are up against Sligo at the IT Sligo grounds in Ballinode (throw-in 1.30pm). You’d have to think that this year could well represent Kevin Walsh’s final push to gain some tangible success with the Yeatsmen and, having got the soft half of the draw in Connacht this time around, he’s probably got one eye already on the likely challenge facing his charges in the second half of July. It looks like he’ll have to plan – at least in the short-term – without both Eamonn O’Hara and Noel Maguire (Indo story here) but that shouldn’t prove too much of a setback for them tomorrow.
Over in Section B, meanwhile, Roscommon play host to Leitrim at Elphin in what will be John Evans’ first match in charge for the Sheepstealers (throw-in 2pm). He’ll be without the St Brigid’s contingent (not just for the FBD but for the early stages of the league as well) but given all the underage talent that appears to be in the county, in particular at U21 level, this could well be a useful opportunity for the new man to have a look at some possible additions to the senior squad for 2013. Leitrim have been boosted ahead of the new campaign with the news that Cian Reynolds, who lined out forKildare’s U21s last year, has decided to throw in his lot with the Ridge County.
Connacht GAA has a preview of all three of tomorrow’s matches here.