Big boost for Gallagher as Murphy opts out of Sigerson
Michael Murphy will not feature for Ulster University, Jordanstown in the Sigerson Cup.
The Donegal captain has opted to put his full focus on getting himself right for Donegal's National League and Ulster Championship campaigns.
Murphy had registered for a Masters in Psychology at the Jordanstown campus, but opted not to pursue it. He has his own business, Michael Murphy Sports & Leisure, in Letterkenny and is keen to be at full tilt for Donegal's 2017 campaign.
UUJ's Sigerson team is managed by Martin McHugh while Ryan and Eoin McHugh are on the squad, but Murphy will not now be spearheading the attack.
After a long season with county and club, Murphy is resting up in a bid to lead Donegal into 2017.
"We're obviously delighted that we'll have Michael based full-time in Donegal," said the Donegal manager, Rory Gallagher. "It's obviously better than if he was spending a couple of days a week in Belfast.
"Michael had an interest in the course, but when he weighed it up against the commitments to his shop and to ourselves, he decided not to pursue it."
In May, Murphy sustained an ankle injury during Glenswilly's Donegal SFC game at Ardara, but lined out for Donegal during the summer months. A knee injury, picked up in a club league gae, looked to have had long-term ramifications for the full-forward, but he returned to inspire Glenswilly to a third Donegal SFC title.
In Kildare, Cian O'Neill has turned to the county's young guns and invited Sarsfields' quartet Shea Ryan, Ben McCormack, Conor Hartley and Con Kavanagh - along with Eoghan Bateman, Luke Flynn, Mark Hyland, Darren Maguire and David Slattery - into his senior panel, and they will join another clutch of last year's Kildare U-21 side who were involved in 2016.