Galligan: 'Focus will be on attacking football'

GAA news

New Cavan senior team manager Raymond Galligan hopes his team will play an attacking style of football – and he insisted the team are not “rebuilding” at present.

“Absolutely not,” he said when asked that question.

“For me, we have a fantastic balance of youth and experience in the county. I think it’s important for us to bring fresh blood in, bring new players in and give them the opportunity and bring that extra bit of competitiveness to training and around the camp.

“I just feel that the talent is there in Cavan and we’re now at the higher level of Division 2. The type of football needed to progress is definitely going to be forward-thinking and I think we have the players to back that up.”

Galligan has made contact with the members of last year’s squad. All, more or less, are on board again, he reports. He intends to carry a large panel at first and will trawl the county for new players.

“I’ve spoken with a lot of the players who were involved last year and thankfully I’ve got the backing of all of them, there’s no-one officially retiring yet. I’m very confident I’ll have the experienced players back and they will add value to the team. That’s been very re-assuring, to know that they’re on board and they’re as excited as I am for this opportunity of competing in Division 2 and hopefully getting into the All-Ireland series.

“I’ve been at a lot of the junior and intermediate games over the last couple of weeks. It’s so competitive and you’re really looking at players who are thinking ‘get that ball inside’ and also lads that are conditioned as well, conditioning is a big thing for me.

“Some teams mightn’t have the same level of conditioning as others, (but) we wouldn’t be closing the door on guys that aren’t fit enough. We can bring players in and maybe have them ready for the end of year one or year two… we’re trying to keep an eye out for players who are ready to go and also players who have work to do in the gym and might be ready for the following year after getting a feeling for what it’s like to be part of an inter-county environment.

“I think there is huge talent there that hasn’t been brought in and hasn’t been involved in the last couple of years and I hope to bring in a number of new players.”

For the full in-depth interview with Raymond Galligan, click here.

In terms of a philosophy, his preferred approach is to move the ball quickly and get it to scoring forwards early.

“I don’t think it’s a case of trying to get better in one particular position, it’s trying to maybe improve on… the elephant in the room for me is that we struggle to break blanket defences down. That was evident this year against Fermanagh in the first half of the league final and certainly against Down in the Tailteann Cup.

“It’s trying to educate and coach players about committing bodies to the attack and getting ahead of the ball and really trying to learn how to play different types of games.

“Division 2 will show all different types of games but our main template will be attacking football. Getting that ball from defence to attack as quick as possible. The style of play I liked when I was playing out the field was ‘get it in early’ and that will be the plan. We have to feed these forwards that ball so it’s heads up, get that ball in as early as possible.

“We have serious talent, especially in our forward line, serious ball-winners. There will be games where we have to play a different style to counteract defensive teams but it’s all about committing bodies to attack, camping in their defence rather than camping in ours.

“That’s my philosophy and it’s the same for (selectors) Stephen, Eamon, James and Damien, we all feel that with the talent that’s in Cavan, it’s really about getting ourselves ready for the big days in Croke Park, because that’s where you want to be playing.”

For the full in-depth interview with Raymond Galligan, click here.