Wednesday 21 February 2018

Cavalry back to give Kerry timely boost

Manager Eamonn Fitmaurice (right) and selector Mikey Sheehy will be targeting an improved Kerry display against Kildare
Manager Eamonn Fitmaurice (right) and selector Mikey Sheehy will be targeting an improved Kerry display against Kildare
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Kerry's faltering Division 1 league campaign has been helped by the return of some star players to training.

Paul Galvin was due back this week after his involvement with Finuge in the All-Ireland intermediate final in Croke Park against Cookstown, while the Dr Crokes contingent are also back.

However, Colm Cooper won't feature in Sunday's game against Kildare in Newbridge, as he has been given the next two weekends off to recover from a series of knocks he picked up in the build-up to Crokes' All-Ireland club semi-final defeat.

It remains to be seen whether fellow Crokes star Eoin Brosnan, the new Kerry captain, is back in the 15.


Kieran Donaghy will be available to start after featuring off the bench against Dublin despite only returning home from his honeymoon the previous day.

However, Declan O'Sullivan is understood to be carrying an injury, while Anthony Maher is a doubt with a calf problem sustained against the Dubs.

Kerry have scored just 10 points in over 140 minutes of league football so far and are now bidding to avoid losing three successive league matches in a campaign for the first time since late 2000/01 when the competition wasn't played in the same calendar year.

Meanwhile, promising Kildare player Daniel Flynn looks set for a career as an AFL rookie next year after impressing in the recent AFL Combine in DCU, which was hosted by former Kerry and Sydney Swans star Tadhg Kennelly.

The Johnstownbridge man is expected to progress to further testing in London in April, but with such a level of interest in him already, it looks inevitable that he will be made a series of offers.

Flynn is one of a number of talented young players who have injected fresh impetus into unbeaten Kildare this year and he is an integral part of the county's U-21 team that is earmarked to progress through Leinster over the next month.

One Tom Clancy will replace another on the Cork team to face Down in Sunday's Division 1 football clash.

Clonakilty's Tom Clancy is unavailable because of U-21 commitments the following week, so his Fermoy namesake steps in. It is one of three changes from the team that lost to Kildare in the last round. John O'Rourke is also on U-21 duty and his place is taken by Barry O'Driscoll in attack, while Noel O'Leary comes back in at centre-back, deputising for the suspended Damien Cahalane.

Brian Donnelly has retained his place on the Louth team at centre-forward for their clash with Laois in Division 2 tomorrow. Mark Brennan makes way at centre-forward.

Armagh have been boosted by the return of Aaron Kernan and Jamie Clarke to the starting team for their clash with Longford, also in Division 2.

Cork (NFL v Down) – K O'Halloran; M Shields, E O'Mahony, E Cadogan; T Clancy, N O'Leary, J O'Sullivan; G Canty, A Walsh; F Goold, C Sheehan, P Kerrigan; B O'Driscoll, C O'Neill, D O'Connor.

Louth (NFL v Laois) – N Gallagher; C McGuinness, D Finnegan, G Hoey; J O'Brien, D Crilly, A Reid; P Keenan, M Fanning; A McDonnell, B Donnelly, B White; P Smith, S Lennon, K Rogers.

Armagh (NFL v Longford) – P McEvoy; G McCooey, J Donnelly, S Finnegan; A Kernan, B Donaghy, C McKeever; J Lavery, K Toner; K Dyas, S Campbell, C Rafferty; J Clarke, S Forker, B Mallon.

Irish Independent

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