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“Unsure of #1” | “Now is your chance” | Mayo v Galway with Poacher & Varley

Enda Varley and Steven Poacher preview the National League Division 1 League Final between Mayo and Galway

Enda Varley and Steven Poacher preview the National League Division 1 League Final between Mayo and Galway.

Mayo and Galway will both go baldheaded to win the Division One league final, says former county player Enda Varley.

The sides meet at Croke Park on Sunday, with Mayo looking to reclaim a title they last won in 2019.

For Kevin McStay, the game comes just a week before their Connacht SFC opener against Roscommon, while Padraic Joyce and Co will lay in wait for the winners.

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“My gut is that Galway and Mayo will go fully at it,” says Varley. “As Paul Conroy said lately, there’s nobody in the Galway dressing room with a National League title, and it is still a national title here.

“It’s nothing to be sniffed at. I’d nearly go so far as to say that Mayo would prefer a National League title to a Connacht title — that might be controversial.

“The seeding will be very important as the summer progresses here but I think the two (managers) will go with the full deck.

“They’ll roll the dice and if they pick up a couple of injuries, they have built squads during the league where they can sustain them.

“It’s ‘next man up’ mentality. If you go the other way, I think you’re just sending the wrong messages into your squad and into your team going out on Sunday.

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“If you rest players, what does that say to the rest of them? ‘We’re not too bothered if we win this’ and that’s a dangerous scenario to put yourself into. That’s my opinion.

Former Rosscommon and Carlow coach, Steven Poacher, adds: “I was up at the game last year, they (Mayo) got destroyed in the National League final (against Kerry).”

“That’s a huge point,” Varley jumps in. “I meant to say that. Obviously what Kerry did to them last year!

“I just think the GAA have let the teams down here in terms of the scheduling.

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“Your reward for being in the league final is being out in championship seven days after.

“To have your request turned down for the Saturday, to move it forward 24 hours, I don’t think that was much to ask. It’s poor form on their part.”

“On the flip side of that, players probably want to be playing games,” says Poacher.

“You want to be playing games every week.

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“I don’t think one game per week is much of a fatigue issue.

“I know we look at the Premier League and they’re professional, and I respect that, but a lot of these lads are preparing like professional athletes.”

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