By John Harrington
Galway senior football team captain, Sean Kelly, has confirmed the Tribesmen have been strengthened by the return to the panel of Liam Silke.
The 2022 All-Star missed last year’s campaign after travelling to New Zealand, but is now back in the fold.
That’s great news for a Galway defence that will also be strengthened by the return to fitness of Ciaran Molloy who missed the 2023 season with a knee injury.
“Yeah, Liam and Ciaran will be back and then there’s Sean Mulkerrin as well,” says Kelly.
“Liam had gone travelling and Ciaran had an ACL injury and Sean Mulkerrin had a bad knee injury as well but they’re all back training now and, in fairness to them, putting in a lot of work.
“It’s great to have them and it’s a real boost for us. It takes a while to get going again but it’s a big boost because they’re putting in a tough pre-season and have a real hunger for it so that drives us on too.”
The availability of Kelly’s Maigh Cuilinn club-mate, Peter Cooke, to Galway in 2024 is less certain.
Cooke returned to the panel last year after missing the 2022 season due to work commitments, and has yet to confirm if he’ll play for Galway this year.
“I think management were chatting to him,” says Kelly of Silke. “He was gone away working in New York for the last while so I’m not fully sure exactly what has happened.
“I’ll have to meet him soon enough because I didn’t get a chance to see him over Christmas. Hopefully he’s around, but, to be honest, I’m not entirely sure right now.
“I’ll try to meet him now in the next couple of days and I’ll hopefully see then what his plan is. He’s a kind of a free bird, he does his own thing. It would be great to have him involved, but who knows right now.”
As for Kelly himself, he’s not sure quite when he’ll be back on a pitch but it doesn’t look like he’ll feature in the early rounds of the Electric Ireland Sigerson Cup for University of Galway.
He’s still rehabbing two injuries. The ankle injury he sustained playing against Armagh in the All-Ireland SFC last year, and a hamstring tear he suffered in club training before the Galway SFC Final.
“It’s one of those at the moment where I have to play it by ear because I have two injuries that I’m still trying to get right,” says Kelly.
“Hopefully there will be no set-backs in finishing the rehab process. I’ve been going alright and it’s getting a lot better.
“I haven’t been back running yet but hopefully that comes next week or the week after, I’m not entirely sure, but hopefully I can get back on the pitch soon as long as my tests go well.
“I’ve done enough work in rehab and I kind of want to be back out on the pitch so we’ll see.”