Saturday 21 January 2017

Cavan blow as key players opt out

Published 22/11/2016 | 02:30

McGleenan has confirmed that David Givney, Cian Mackey (pictured), Fergal Flanagan and Eugene Keating will not be part of his Cavan squad next season. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
McGleenan has confirmed that David Givney, Cian Mackey (pictured), Fergal Flanagan and Eugene Keating will not be part of his Cavan squad next season. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Cavan will be without a number of influential players in 2017 as new manager Mattie McGleenan prepares them for a first Division 1 campaign in 15 years.

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McGleenan has confirmed that David Givney, Cian Mackey, Fergal Flanagan and Eugene Keating will not be part of his squad next season.

Work is to take Givney and Mackey to London, while Flanagan is not in a position to give a commitment either.

Givney and Keating only returned to the squad for the 2016 season, having sat out the previous year.

Givney's influence told in their promotion push and again as they beat Armagh and drew with Tyrone in the Ulster Championship. Flanagan has emerged as one of the county's key defenders.

"There are certainly three, four, five lads from the starting team (in 2016) who, due to work commitments and various bits and pieces, aren't going to be about," said McGleenan.

"That's just life. You have to work, you have to live, you have to get on. The best 15 Cavan men we can find, we'll put them out and it will be their opportunity.

"We can't concern ourselves too much about them (absentees). Maybe later on in the year we might get them back. If any of their circumstances change, there is no doubt we'd be mad keen to have them on board."

McGleenan admitted that being asked if he was interested in the position was something "beyond my expectation"

"I never saw it coming. I was thoroughly enjoying time with Scotstown and for Gerry Brady (Cavan chairman) to ring me and ask me would I be interested in going for an interview, I thought it was an unreal thing."

Division 1 will be a challenge but will be a "great educator."

"It's the place you want to be, playing against the top seven teams in the game," said McGleenan. "If you don't enjoy yourself with that. . ."

McGleenan has retained some of Terry Hyland's back-room team and praised the work that his predecessor did and the legacy he left behind.

Irish Independent

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