WHEN THEY LAST MET: Tuam Stars centre-back Sean Rattigan on the attack against Daniel Hughes of Claregalway, with Dara Kavanagh in the background, in last month’s North Board Minor A Championship final. PHOTO: RAY RYAN

Minor Matters

Tuam Stars and Claregalway renew rivalry in U-17 A final

THESE are exciting times to be a minor footballer in Galway. In decades past, the diet of club action at the grade, then U-18, consisted of a league programme that sometimes wasn't played to completion before the more serious business of a do-or-die championship rolled around.

One bad day at the office, one under-performance, one tough draw could render the most promising of seasons over. Considering the drop-off rate that inevitably followed, it possibly meant the end of football careers too.

These days, thankfully, players at the flagship underage grade compete in a championship round-robin before advancing to the business end. Traditionalists could argue that the sharp edge of knockout football has been blunted, but these are the days of development and a premium put on giving younger footballers the opportunity to play more matches than ever before.

This weekend sees the Galway Minor A and B Football Championship finals down for decision and, in most cases, it'll be the seventh or eighth championship match of the season…

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