Sligo embark on new Celtic journey

Sligo embark on new Celtic journey

The Sligo U-17 hurlers will begin their second Celtic Challenge campaign next week, hoping to emulate their performances in the inaugural competition in 2016.

Daithí Hand’s side take on Galway Tribesmen in their opening Group G game next Wednesday, with four other games to follow in a group that also contains Mayo, Donegal, Roscommon and Kildare Cadets.

Sligo made a major impact in last year’s competition where they topped their group before losing to Down in the knockout stages.

The innovative competition gives young hurlers across the country an opportunity to showcase their skills in a competitive environment, and Sligo boss Daithí Hand says his side are looking forward to the challenge.

“We can’t wait to get started,” said Monaghan native, who takes the reins from Benny Kenny for 2017.

“We are hoping to follow on from the work that Benny did last year. It was unfortunate with the way it was structure last year but there are different divisions and groups this year which is good.”

The new boss is a teacher in the Mercy in Sligo and plies his trade locally with Calry/St Joseph’s, and he is hopeful of another positive campaign for the Yeats’ County.

“I was working with Benny [Kenny] last year and I play with Calry/St Joseph’s, and I was approached to take it on this year.

“We’ve got some tough teams in our group, and in terms of senior rankings we’d probably be below all of them. But Sligo hurling is definitely on the way up and the work done last year is there to be built on. The structure should help us, and the hurling talent in Sligo is very good. We’ll be going in to win.”

Their game against Galway Tribesmen throws-in at 7.30pm next Wednesday evening at the Connacht GAA Centre of Excellence in Ballyhaunis. 

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