Niall Madine believes New York have a "slightly stronger" panel for this year's championship compared to previous years. New York face Leitrim on Saturday with players from Kerry, Galway, Tipperary and Dublin now among their group.
"The team we had last year, you didn't have too many boys that hadn't played together before because Covid limited the amount of people who could come over," former Down footballer Madine, who has been in New York since 2018, told the Long Hall podcast.
"You've had a new crop of players who've come into New York, and it's been great to integrate them into the team."
That new crop includes Kerry duo Gavin O'Brien and Robert Wharton. O'Brien, who hails from the Kerins O'Rahillys club in Tralee, played nine times for the Kingdom in the league between 2019 and 2020.
Wharton, from Renard in south Kerry, won a minor All-Ireland in 2014 and a junior All-Ireland in 2016 in a team which featured 2022 Sam Maguire winners Jason Foley and Adrian Spilane.
Eoghan Kerin, who played senior football with Galway between 2016 and 2019, has joined fellow Galway men Johnny Glynn and Adrian Varley on the New York panel this year.
Others in the panel include Tippeary's Bill Maher and Alan Campbell, former Cork hurler Mark Ellis, Meath's Connell Ahearne, Mayo's Jack Reilly and Matthew Queenan and Offaly's Luke Kelly.
Former Dublin footballer Shane Carthy, who has been commuting from Boston to New York for training, is also part of the panel. There are also several American-born players on the panel, including corner-back Jamie Boyle who captained the team last year.
Unlike 2022, when they had a challenge match against Galway club side Salthill-Knocknacarra before facing Sligo, New York have not had any games to prepare for the encounter with Leitrim.
Former Dublin coach Jason Sherlock dropped by recently to watch a New York training session.
"He have us a few pointers on some things that we could work on. It was great to hear from someone like him who's been involved with All-Ireland panels," said Madine, whose fellow Down man Michael Cunningham is the New York goalkeeper.
"We've been training very hard. It's been a long four months. We're out since just before December doing work in the gym.
"In years gone by, that we haven't had games, we've been very competitive too. We're had training games, which have been very competitive."
"'99 was the first time [New York] went into [the Connacht Championship] and we haven't had a win. It would mean everything to the Irish community out here, to everyone playing on the team.
"You have a strong Irish-American contingent on the team as well. This is what all that underage development has gone into."
Should they reach the Connacht final this year, the GAA has confirmed that New York would join the Sam Maguire group stage and host a home game. If they do not progress to the provincial decider, then, as they did last year, New York will enter the Tailteann Cup at the preliminary quarter-final stage.
New York panel to play Leitrim in Connacht Championship
No. 1 Michael Cunningham
No. 2 Jamie Boyle
No. 3 Alan Campbell
No. 4 Eoghan Kerin
No. 5 Bill Maher
No. 6 Robert Wharton
No. 7 Shane Brosnan
No. 8 Johnny Glynn
No. 9 Gavin O'Brien
No. 10 Mark Ellis
No. 11 Adrian Varley
No. 12 Shane Carthy
No. 13 Mikey Brosnan
No. 14 Patrick Boyle
No. 15 Daniel O'Sullivan
No. 16 Adam Loughlin Stones
No. 17 Matthew Queenan
No. 18 Killian Butler
No. 19 Colin Keane
No. 20 Connell Ahearne
No. 21 Niall Madine
No. 22 Jack Reilly
No. 23 Luke Kelly
No. 24 Peter Fox
No. 25 Tiernan Mathers
No. 26 Padraig Studdard
New York face Leitrim in the Connacht quarter-finals at Gaelic Park in the Bronx at 11pm Irish time on Saturday. The game will be shown live on GAA Go.
🔹@LeitrimGAA and @NewYorkGAA have named their panels for their Connacht SFC Quarter Final clash which takes place in Gaelic Park, New York at 11pm Irish time this Saturday night!https://t.co/sASIYJsqlG
— Connacht GAA (@ConnachtGAA) April 7, 2023