Ryan confident Mullane and Browne will soldier on for Deise
WATERFORD hurlers will be without Stephen Molumphy in 2013 but manager Michael Ryan is hopeful that All Star John Mullane and veteran defender Tony Browne will stay on.
Former All Star Molumphy is scheduled for a tour of duty with the Irish Defence Forces from late May and Ryan has explained why he has not included him on his panel.
"We were hopeful we'd have him for the league but he has to do physical army training from March onwards, and he's going on his honeymoon in a few weeks, so there was no point including him," Ryan said.
"He is a big loss, there's no doubt about it. He had a tremendous season last year, winning man-of-the-match awards in two of our three championship games."
Ryan has included Mullane and Browne in his 35-man provisional training panel, saying he is "reasonably confident" that both men will commit to stay on when he meets them next week.
Brian and Shane O'Sullivan, who missed last summer's championship, are both included but Philip Mahony is not, and Brian's older brother David is out of contention through work commitments.
Meanwhile, Tyrone football star Kyle Coney, due to make his comeback in the McKenna Cup tomorrow after groin surgery, is out again after injuring his ankle in training.
Red Hands boss Mickey Harte has named five debutants, including goalkeeper Niall Morgan, who has given up his Irish League soccer career with Dungannon Swifts to concentrate on GAA.
Fitzgerald's current contract was not due to expire until March 31 but Munster delegates were told that the Limerick man is on "administrative leave" until then and will not be looking to extend his contract.