by John Fallon
Galway football manager Kevin Walsh said he notices the circle of life as he calls players into his squad whose fathers he lined out with and against in his own career.
Walsh has drafted in a string of young players as he plots for 2018 and with long-established performers such as Michael Meehan and Finian Hanley announcing their retirement before Christmas, a new era is unfolding for the Tribesmen.
Included among the new players are Sean Kelly from Moycullen, son of the late Padraig 'Dandy' Kelly who lined out for Galway for many years, while Rob Finnerty, a son of ex-Mayo star Anthony, is also included after good performances for Salthill/Knocknacarra.
"When I made my debut for Galway in 1987 against Laois, 'Dandy' Kelly was in the team and now his son is coming along and will hopefully make his mark.
"We are bringing in a few lads to see how they go in the FBD League and beyond. We are going to be without a lot of players for the start of the league so there will be opportunities for lads," said Walsh, who has guided Galway back to the top flight in the league for the first time since 2011.
Walsh himself made his senior debut as a minor and among those called up are two members of the Galway team which won the Connacht minor title with captain and full-back Sean Mulkerrin from the Aran Islands, forwards Dessie Conneely and Evan Murphy.
Impressive U-21 full-back Sean Andy O Ceallaigh is also included along with Peter Cooke (Moycullen), Ronan Boland (Michael Breathnach), Cein D'Arcy (Caherlistrane), John Maher (Salthill), Eoin Finnerty (Mountbellew-Moylough), Ciaran Duggan (Annaghdown), Frankie Burke (Annaghdown), and Evan Wynne (Salthill).
"It will be an open-ended squad, of course, at this time of year, but we want to bring players into this environment and give them the opportunity and hopefully it will work out well for all," added Walsh.