Dublin on road again as Mayo and Galway are kept apart in provincial Championship draws
All-Ireland champions Dublin will open the defence of their provincial football crown on the road in 2019 with Jim Gavin's side drawn away to the winners of Louth and Wexford.
As well as chasing five Sam Maguire triumphs in succession, the all-conquering Dubs bid for their ninth Leinster SFC title in a row with a juicy semi-final tie possibly awaiting against Cian O'Neill's Kildare.
The Lilies must first account for Wicklow in the preliminary round, however, with the victors meeting Pádraic Davis' Longford where the reward for the winner is a semi-final date with the Dubs.
In the other half of the Leinster draw, John Maughan's first game as Offaly boss will see him renew acquaintances with Meath 22 years after their epic All-Ireland final replay duel when he was in charge of his native Mayo.
At last night's football championship draw, Maughan revealed that his backroom team will consist of selectors Kevin Guing (Edenderry), Crossmolina native Gerry O'Malley (now based in Ferbane), while Dubliner Mark Fee is football coach and Cavan's Dermot Sheridan is strength and conditioning coach.
The winners of Offaly/Meath will meet this year's surprise packets Carlow in the last four in Leinster, while Jack Cooney will be out to avenge this year's demoralising championship loss when they meet John Sugrue's Laois in the remaining quarter-final clash.
Elsewhere, Connacht kingpins Galway - the only one of the five traditional provincial counties to have the same manager as 2018 - open their title defence with a quarter-final trip to Ruislip to face London.
The first championship game of James Horan’s second coming with Mayo sees them away to New York and with Galway and Mayo on opposite sides of the draw, a first potential provincial decider between the big guns since 2014 looks on the cards.
Roscommon – still the only inter-county football side without a manager after Kevin McStay’s resignation – must beat Leitrim to earn a shot at Mayo/New York while Galway or London meet Sligo.
The big hitters were kept apart in Ulster with reigning champions Donegal away to Fermanagh in a repeat of last year’s final while Monaghan travel to Cavan as Mickey Harte’s Tyrone face a long road to lift the Anglo-Celt Cup with their preliminary round opener against Derry the first of four possible games.
Clare face Waterford with a home tie against reigning Munster SFC champions Kerry awaiting while the other semi-final sees Cork play Tipperary/Limerick.
All dates and venues are to be confirmed but with the Leinster and Munster SHC draws already pre-determined, there’s very little to get your teeth stuck into.
Leinster Senior Football Championship
Louth v Wexford
Wicklow v Kildare
Meath v Offaly
Louth/Wexford v Dublin
Wicklow/Kildare v Longford
Meath/Offaly v Carlow
Westmeath v Laois
Louth/Wexford/Dublin v Wicklow/Kildare/Longford
Meath/Offaly/Carlow v Westmeath/Laois
Connacht Senior Football Championship
New York v Mayo
London v Galway
Leitrim v Roscommon
New York/Mayo v Leitrim/Roscommon
London/Galway v Sligo
Munster Senior Football Championship
Tipperary v Limerick
Clare v Waterford
Kerry v Clare or Waterford
Tipperary or Limerick v Cork
Ulster Senior Football Championship
Tyrone v Derry
Antrim v Tyrone or Derry
Cavan v Monaghan
Down v Armagh
Fermanagh v Donegal
Cavan or Monaghan v Down or Armagh
Fermanagh v Donegal v Antrim/Tyrone/Derry
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