Callanan in goal for Galway

Kinvara's Colm Callanan has beaten off competition from Aidan Ryan to start as Galway's goalkeeper in tomorrow's All-Ireland SHC qualifier against Laois (Portlaoise, throw-in 7pm).

Kinvara's Colm Callanan has beaten off competition from Aidan Ryan to start as Galway's goalkeeper in tomorrow's All-Ireland SHC qualifier against Laois (Portlaoise, throw-in 7pm).

With former captain Liam Donoghue dropped and injury ruling out last year's minor 'keeper James Skehill, Callanan has been given the nod to start in a much-changed Galway side.

For his first championship match in charge, team boss Ger Loughnane has included only nine players who started Galway's last competitive game - the National League quarter-final defeat to Wexford on April 8.

Callanan, who steps in for Ryan, defenders Damien Joyce and Diarmuid Cloonan, midfielders Eoin Lynch and David Tierney and corner forward Niall Healy are the six new inclusions.

Lynch made his championship debut last July against Westmeath, while Callanan, centre back John Lee and left half-forward Iarla Tannian will be making their SHC bows this weekend.

The two Cloonan brothers, Diarmuid and Eugene, have been named at full-back and full-forward respectively, with Kevin Broderick amongst the players to miss out.

Mark Kerins (illness), Fergal Moore (hamstring) and Fergal Healy (calf) are all sidelined for what is Galway's third qualifier encounter with Laois in the past three seasons.

The Tribesmen have been sharpening up their striking skills by using an automatic baseball pitcher at training, with the machine firing out balls at varying speeds.

Galway Hurling Board secretary John Fahey said: "The baseball pitcher can release a ball at up to 110 miles per hour. It has added a new dimension to training."

GALWAY (SHC v Laois) - C Callanan; D Joyce, D Cloonan, D Collins (capt); D Hardiman, J Lee, G Mahon; E Lynch, D Tierney; A Kerins, D Forde, I Tannian; N Healy, E Cloonan, D Hayes.

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