Saturday 7 December 2019

Rossies call up U-21 stars

Cliona Foley

ROSCOMMON football boss Des Newton has called up eight of the county's U-21s -- including Cathal Shine and Donie Smith -- to his senior squad ahead of Sunday's Connacht SFC clash against Galway.

With their senior championship opener coming so quickly after the county's underage stars played Dublin in the All-Ireland U-21 final, it is doubtful that many of them will see much game-time immediately.

But Newton has moved quickly to bring the promising players into his senior set-up and they are expected to see more action later in the summer.

Niall Daly is the only one expected to feature in the starting line-up against Galway. He played several games at centre-back in Roscommon's Division 3 league campaign.

Towering midfielder Shine, from the Clann na nGael club who is no relation of established county star Donie, certainly has the physique for the senior inter-county game.

However, he has been troubled by a groin problem that kept him out of football for a full year and the U-21 All-Ireland semi-final and final were the only games he started this year.

Dublin senior boss Pat Gilroy has indicated that he will be calling up four of the U-21 champions.

Dual stars Ciaran Kilkenny and Jack McCaffrey are expected to be called in once they have completed their Leaving Certs.

Lucan Sarsfields' Emmet O Conghaile and U-21 centre-forward Gary Sweeney (St Sylvesters) are also likely to be included.

Kilkenny and O Conghaile were both on the county minor teams that contested both the All-Ireland hurling and football finals last year.

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