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Joyce looks set to make long-awaited Galway return

NICKY Joyce is set to line out for Galway's footballers tomorrow for the first time in 16 months.

The Killererin star, first cousin of county veteran Padraic, has been recalled to the squad by new manager Alan Mulholland and is expected to start against London in the FBD League in Ballinasloe.

Meanwhile, All-Ireland supersub Kevin McManamon is set to make his return for the Dubs in tonight's O'Byrne Cup clash with UCD. Pat Gilroy hasn't yet named his starters, but McManamon, who missed last week's trip to Carlow, is one notable inclusion.

Footballer of the Year Alan Brogan and Barry Cahill are both missing. Both were listed in the squad last week, but couldn't travel due to illness (Brogan) and being abroad (Cahill).

Derry football boss John Brennan has indicated that Paddy Bradley will make his return from a long cruciate lay-off at some stage of tonight's McKenna Cup game against UUJ.

It has emerged that Antrim's footballers could yet play some league games at Queens University this season. Casement Park is set to close for a three-year redevelopment and while the county hurlers are expected to use Loughiel Shamrock's ground, the footballers' natural home is Belfast and there is speculation that Queens' new £16m facilities at 'The Dub' would suit their needs.

In Clare, hurling boss Davy Fitzgerald has confirmed that former All-Ireland-winning U-21 Darach Honan, who doesn't turn 22 until March, will be forced to sit out the entire Allianz League after having surgery on his hip.

And hopes of a Banner return for Mark Flaherty, who made such an impact back in 2008, but has not figured since, have been dashed as he has suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury and needed surgery recently.

Irish Independent