| -2°C Dublin

Johnston hails 'Nesty' as perfect playmaker

SEANIE JOHNSTON believes Cavan have found the perfect playmaker in Gareth Smith -- and is clearly frustrated that he won't be able to feed off the pinpoint deliveries of 'Nesty' after suffering a serious elbow injury in action for his university last week.

Johnston, one of the deadliest finishers in Ulster football, will miss the entire National League campaign after undergoing surgery last Thursday.

Playing for DCU in their Sigerson Cup victory over UCD the previous day, he suffered a fracture at the tip of his elbow as well as partially dislocating the joint. His elbow had to be wired-up, as well as having a pin inserted, during the subsequent operation and he expects to be out for "three months minimum" with his focus now aimed on returning for the start of the Ulster championship.

In his absence, Cavan recorded a surprisingly emphatic 2-20 to 1-10 win away to Roscommon in their Division Three opener last Sunday.

Former Dublin U21 footballer Smith, who made one O'Byrne Cup appearance for the Dubs last year, made his NFL debut for the Breffni boys, scoring two points.

Johnston declared: "We are very happy with him. "He has taken the position at centre half- forward. I have not seen another player strike the ball as well as he does. He is a good passer of the ball and he will help to create things in the forward line.

"We have been lacking that since Micheal Lyng got injured a few years," he added. "Nesty has brought that sort of creativity ... he can put the ball on a plate for you.

"He has a left foot like (Mayo's) Ciarán McDonald had a few years ago, and he can pick you out from anywhere.

"He is a very welcome addition to our squad and it is hard to see how he didn't get a chance with Dublin over the last few years," the injured ace concluded.