Injury concerns for Dolan ahead of Tyrone clash
Westmeath will have to show resilience to recover in time for the final Sam Maguire Cup game against Tyrone on Sunday week at Kingspan Breffni Park (4pm).
Dessie Dolan's charges produced a fine display at TEG Cusack Park last Saturday, but ultimately gave way as Galway finished strongly to claim an eight-point win.
Dolan said it will test the strength of his panel, but they are looking forward to another high quality game against one of the leading counties. Team captain Kevin Maguire finished the game, but is nursing an injury, while Sam Duncan went off early. Tenacious corner back, Jack Smith is another on the injured list: he was replaced by David Giles after 47 minutes.
"Sam was a huge loss, he put in a massive shift up in Armagh last week. He was excellent; a very honest player. That physicality around the middle is crucial. You go out to games and you see the physicality of players now, they are incredible athletes. In fairness to Sam, he offers that to us, so he was a loss when he went off," remarked Dolan.
"There’ll be lads in the squad disappointed that they didn’t get game time as well, but the way the injuries happen in certain positions and the sending off, we had to adapt in certain positions. We just have to regroup during the week and see how the bodies are," he remarked.
"It’s a great opportunity; we are paying Tyrone, who won the All-Ireland two years ago: they're great players. We’re hoping that game decides the group in terms of the last spot.
"It was a very honest effort from the lads: We are playing at an elite level and it's great for kids in Westmeath to see great players (in TEG Cusack Park).
“It's a great experience to be playing games like this and to see Cusack Park full. That's where we want to be. It's what it's all about: we'd love to be playing at that level every year.
“It's important to acknowledge the performance of all our players: Galway know they have been in a match."