“This is a star-studded Armagh team, which includes five senior squad members, and our form in the provincial final would not be good enough,” said Leahy.
“We do have one big advantage in that we played Kerry only two weeks ago while Armagh have been waiting 18 weeks.
“They shocked a highly rated Tyrone side before crushing Derry in the Ulster final (after a replay) and that kind of form would suggest they are a very talented side.
“The win over Kerry was superb, helped in no small way by the huge Cork following. We won’t have anything like that with us in Galway tomorrow, but the lads are very confident they can continue on their winning ways.
“The one thing we can be guaranteed is 110% effort from the players. Despite all the counter attractions of club and inter-county commitments, they have come together like a club side and have worked extremely hard since last February. They deserve success for that alone.”
Not unexpectedly, Leahy and his selectors have given a vote of confidence to the team which won the Munster title by naming the same 15.
Cork haven’t won this title since 1994 and another would be a big boost to the game in the county.
Armagh boss Peter Rafferty is convinced his side will have learned from the experiences of the senior team. “You can tell from the wee things that they say what sort of frame of mind they are in. I’d be happy that complacency won’t be a problem,” he said.
“We will be happy enough coming out of Galway with a one-point victory. We played exceptionally well in the Ulster final against Derry.
“Players were shooting from anywhere that day and the ball kept going over the bar.”
Rafferty makes one change in his side from the side that won the Ulster title.
Shane O’Neill has lost his battle for fitness and is replaced by Gareth Swift at midfield.
Armagh have never reached an All-Ireland under-21 football final, but on the evidence of their sparkling display against Derry, will be favourites.
Kildare have made two changes from the side which defeated Dublin in the Leinster final 18 weeks ago.
James Kindregan is preferred to Tomas Corley in goal while county minor captain Pádraig O’Neill comes in at left corner forward for the injured Tommy Archibold.
Despite the long delay, the Lily Whites coach Peter McConnon is confident his side can pull off a shock victory.
“We are happy enough with our own preparations. The lads are very focused and know what is expected of them. This is a huge game for Kildare but we are up against a county on an almighty high right now.
“To win we have to reproduce the form we had against Dublin in the Leinster final replay, but I feel we are very capable of that.”
K. Murphy; M. Prout, D. O’Donovan, B. Crowley; N. O’Riordan, P. Nealon, E. O’Connor; D. Coughlan, S. O’Sullivan; C. O’Riordan, P. Kelly, J. Hayes; R. Long, T. Twomey, K. O’Sullivan.
P Wilson; G Smyth, F Moriarty, A Mallon; A Kernan, C McKeever (capt), B McDonald; M Mackin, G Swift; G Loughran, S Kernan, P Toal; M McNamee, R Austin, B Mallon
F. Ruddy; D. Geraghty, P. Navin, T. Howley; M. Carey, L. O’Malley, R. Feeney; R. McNamara, B. Moran; A. Moran, N. Lydon, P. Doherty; A. Costelloe, D. Munnelly, M. Conroy.
J. Kindregan; M. Hogarty, P. McCabe, A. McLoughlin; M. Dowling, M. Foley, J. Lonergan; W. Heffernan, D. Flynn; D. McCormack, J. Kavanagh, H. Lynch; R. Glavin, M. Cocoman, P. O’Neill.