Saturday 16 December 2017

Lilies injury-free for Cavan clash amid increasing Johnston calls

Kildare manager Kieran McGenney
Kildare manager Kieran McGenney
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Kildare's injuries appear to be clearing up ahead of Sunday's qualifier match against Cavan in Kingspan Breffni Park.

Tomas O'Connor and Hugh McGrillen were among those who sat out an internal practice match over the weekend after picking up knocks in midweek sessions.

Seanie Johnston also damaged a shoulder after shipping a heavy knock from Gary White as Kildare sought to purge the memory of their defeat to Meath with some hard-hitting practice sessions last week.

But those injuries are on the mend and it is anticipated that Kildare will be able to select from close to a full-strength squad on Sunday.

Eamonn Callaghan, who came on against Meath after making a quicker-than-expected recovery from a groin operation in the US, is in line to start as is Rob Kelly, who was named in the starting team for the Meath clash but only came on as a replacement at the same time as Callaghan.


Meanwhile, former Kildare and Cork player Larry Tompkins has urged his old county to get Johnston into competitive action as quickly as possible.

"I thought they should have used him the last day against Meath," said Tompkins.

"Once he became available I thought they should have got him into the action because not only would have got his debut out of the way, but they needed him with 20 or 25 minutes to go," he said.

Tompkins, who has undoubtedly been the greatest success story for an inter-county transfer in recent Gaelic football history after making his switch from Kildare to Cork, isn't sure if Kildare should start him against Cavan.

"I'd certainly get him on for 20 or 25 minutes on Sunday regardless of the opponents or venue," said the former All-Ireland winning captain.

Irish Independent

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