Galligan enjoying goalkeeping role
By Cian O’Connell
It was a transition Raymond Galligan was open to making.
Once an inter-county forward, Galligan is now amongst the most respected Gaelic Football goalkeepers in the land.
The journey, though, provided plenty of interesting moments with Galligan acknowledging the role occupied by Dundalk custodian Gary Rogers, who previously worked with Cavan’s goalkeepers.
Coaching and improving others has always been part of Rogers’ philosophy, but Galligan is adamant about the way the Meath native assisted him.
“Gary would have played a massive part in me getting into the goals and really nailing down my position in the first couple of years,” Galligan admits ahead of Saturday’s Ulster SFC tussle against neighbours Monaghan.
“He brought that level of professionalism that I wouldn't have been used to, especially on a one to one. I was very fortunate to get that piece of work in the first few years starting off in the goals.
“I was fortunate to have him for two years, he was a great person and a great coach. It was a great experience and I definitely took many learnings that I used over the last few years that I learned under Gary.”
Throughout the past couple of decades the breadth of the goalkeeping role has altered significantly according to Galligan.
“Yeah, I think with goalkeeping now there is a big emphasis on possession,” Galligan says. “You see especially in Division One and Two where a lot of the goalkeepers are of a serious high quality.
“Winning possession is so important, I think it is ever evolving. 'Keepers are constantly trying to find areas to improve, I think with the kickouts you see 'keepers like the Pattons, the Beggans of this world. They are improving year on year and it is making for better spectatorship definitely.”
Cavan endured a second straight Allianz Football League relegation, but Galligan is hopeful Mickey Graham’s outfit can respond in the Ulster Championship.
“Absolutely, we still have an opportunity to have a successful season, albeit playing in Division Three next year,” Galligan remarks.
“We beat Monaghan and anything is possible. Our focus is all about Monaghan now. As I say in years gone by we've had a break of seven, eight, maybe even nine weeks between League and Championship. Every player just wants to try to fix some of the mistakes from the last day.
“I think last weekend will certainly be parked by the time Saturday comes around.”