James Horan assesses the balance of power between Mayo and Galway

Both rivals go head to head in the Connacht Championship on Sunday

James Horan assesses the balance of power between Mayo and Galway

James Horan /Sportsfile

Former Mayo manager James Horan feels Galway are a very dangerous proposition for his native county on Sunday in the Connacht Football Championship semi final at Pearse Stadium.

Galway ended a barren run in the provincial championships last year by beating Connacht's most dominant county in the most recent era in last year's semi final. 

Speaking to Off The Ball alongside former Galway footballer John Divilly, Horan revealed how impressed he has been with Galway's progression since their exit to Tipperary in last year's All Ireland Championship.

"They've got a consistency since then. They've bounced back and through the league, through Division 2, they've become a much better team in my opinion so even though they haven't been around as long as that four or five years of an experienced team, there's a mixture in there that could - if Mayo aren't at full tilt - Galway could catch them and at home the confidence that the under-21 and Division 2 win has brought them, they could look to kick on and could pull away. There's no question about that," he said.

"So Mayo need to be at their very best on Sunday."

But he does feel that Mayo have really focused on performing on this game from a long time out.

Horan added that it is "harder to counter-attack" Galway now as they "do not give away as many turnovers". 

Meanwhile, Galway come into the Connacht Championship off the back of achieving promotion to Allianz League Division 1.

"Trying to get into Division 1 was his main goal for the year," said Divilly of Galway manager Kevin Walsh.

"I know talking to Galway people, we're so happy that we're in Division 1 next year. It's a big, big stepping stone for us. So regardless of Sunday's outcome, we're still going to be in the Championship and if we can get back to the last eight like last year or try and get into the last four, that's a good year. It's building for the future really. Galway are still, maybe, a year or two away from having a right crack at the All Ireland."