Football team news: Dublin without Jack McCaffrey, Armagh reshuffle and dramatic Farney recall of Ryan McAnespie
Jack McCaffrey’s latest injury setback has ruled him out of any involvement for Dublin in their opening All-Ireland series fixture at home to Roscommon on Sunday.
McCaffrey’s omission from the matchday 26 in Croke Park is a clear indication that he hasn’t shaken off the problem that forced his premature departure against Louth last Sunday week.
As a consequence, Cian Murphy is now listed to start in defence while another change sees Tom Lahiff named at midfield as an indirect replacement for Niall Scully. Given Dublin’s propensity for 11th hour switches, however, further changes cannot be ruled out.
Clearly, though, McCaffrey won’t be among them. The 2015 Footballer of the Year, who dramatically returned from inter-county exile this season, started the Leinster final even though he wasn’t originally named in Dessie Farrell’s starting team.
But after a bright start crowned by two points from play, the wing-back dynamo was forced off shortly before half-time.
Afterwards, asked if McCaffrey had suffered a hamstring issue, Farrell replied: “No, he just had an awareness - this great word now that we all have - an awareness of something going on. But it's not too bad thankfully, I think he's going to be okay.”
Dublin fans will be pleased to see veteran former All Star Mick Fitzsimons back in the matchday squad after missing out on some recent provincial action because of exams, but Eoin Murchan is again not included in the subs and nor is ‘keeper Evan Comerford.
Kieran McGeeney has shaken up his starting team in response to Armagh’s Ulster final penalty shootout outbreak against Derry.
The Armagh boss, now in his ninth season at the helm, has made three changes for their opening foray into the Sam Maguire group stages at home to Westmeath on Saturday evening.
Ben Crealey returns from injury to replace Shane McPartlan in midfield, while McGeeney restores two experienced campaigners in attack – Stefan Campbell and Aidan Nugent.
Campbell was particularly impressive coming off the bench against Derry and now is named at wing-forward as an indirect replacement for full-back Barry McCambridge. Nugent’s return sees Conor Turbitt, so impressive in the earlier Ulster rounds, revert to the subs.
Westmeath boss Dessie Dolan has included injury doubt Ronan Wallace in his matchday squad for Saturday’s daunting trip to face Armagh in the All-Ireland series.
Wallace has been struggling with a hand fracture, which explains why Westmeath’s regular centre-back will wear No 26 at the Athletic Grounds. But his inclusion in the panel at least fuels the possibility that the attack-minded half-back might yet feature, either as a late inclusion or coming off the bench.
“Ronan Wallace is in a cast and is an obvious concern,” Dolan told local media ahead of the game. “Ronan has a fracture in his hand and is obviously in bother. Nigel Harte will be out I’d say, he got injured in a club game.”
Based on the match panel released by Croke Park, Westmeath are set to make three changes from the team that started with a flourish against Louth only to blow up in the second half.
Rosemount’s Andy McCartan is a novel inclusion at centre-back; Sam McCartan returns at wing-forward after being badly missed through illness against Louth; while veteran wing-back James Dolan is recalled after being restricted to a cameo role in that Leinster quarter-final.
Monaghan boss Vinny Corey has made some huge selection calls ahead of Saturday night’s Celtic Park rematch with Derry – none bigger than the omission of veteran talisman Conor McManus and the dramatic recall of Ryan McAnespie.
This is predicated, of course, on whether the Farney line out as selected when they face the two-time Ulster champions in their opening Sam Maguire group fixture.
Monaghan’s early championship optimism was completely deflated by an emphatic Ulster semi-final defeat to Derry in Omagh almost four weeks ago, when they lost by 1-21 to 2-10.
The fates have conspired to ensure their next outing is against the same opposition – albeit under different management following Rory Gallagher’s departure, to be replaced by Ciarán Meenagh.
Based on the Monaghan team list released today, veteran duo McManus and Darren Hughes will revert to the bench while Gary Mohan and McAnespie are both named in the full-forward line.
McAnespie, a two-time All Star nominee, had relocated to Australia and was expected to play football in the United States this summer – but he returned home late last month and quickly resumed his involvement with Emyvale and now the Monaghan squad.
Skipper Brian Hurley is restored to the Cork attack as the Rebels face Louth on Saturday in an All-Ireland group outing of pivotal importance to both counties.
Hurley was an injury absentee for Cork’s surprising Munster exit to Clare back in April. Now he returns at full-forward, but the exclusion of Stephen Sherlock is bound to raise eyebrows given that he tallied ten of their 14 points against the Banner.
Sherlock is included in the official matchday 26, fuelling the possibility of an 11th hour call-up.
In another notable selection, John Cleary has named Seán Meehan at centre-back.
Meanwhile, Craig Lennon has been handed the No 15 jersey by Mickey Harte for Louth’s Navan date.
Lennon has invariably impressed coming off the bench this season, and he chipped in with a point even as his county endured a traumatic Leinster final defeat to Dublin.
DUBLIN (SFC v Roscommon) – S Cluxton; D Newcombe, D Byrne, C Murphy; J McCarthy, J Small, L Gannon; B Fenton, T Lahiff; B Howard, S Bugler, C Kilkenny; P Mannion, C O’Callaghan, C Costello.
CORK (SFC v Louth) – MA Martin; M Shanley, D O’Mahony, T Walsh; L Fahy, S Meehan, M Taylor; C O’Callaghan, I Maguire; B O’Driscoll, R Deane, K O’Hanlon; S Powter, B Hurley, C Jones.
ARMAGH (SFC v Westmeath) – E Rafferty; J Morgan, A McKay, A Forker; G McCabe, C O’Neill, J Óg Burns; B Crealey, Ciaran Mackin; R Grugan, J Duffy, S Campbell; A Murnin, R O’Neill, A Nugent.
MONAGHAN (SFC v Derry) – R Beggan; R O’Toole, K Duffy, R Wylie; K O’Connell, C Boyle, C McCarthy; K Gallagher, K Lavelle; S O’Hanlon, M Bannigan, D Ward; J McCarron, G Mohan, R McAnespie.
WESTMEATH (SFC v Armagh): J Daly; J Smith, K Maguire, J Gonoud; J Dolan, A McCormack, D Lynch; S Duncan, R Connellan; S McCartan, R O’Toole, S Baker; L Loughlin, J Heslin, S Smith.
LOUTH (SFC v Cork): J Califf; D Campbell, P Lynch, D McKenny; L Grey, N Sharkey, A Williams; T Durnin, C Early; C McKeever, C Downey, C Grimes; P Mathews, S Mulroy, C Lennon.
DERRY (SFC v Monaghan): O Lynch; C McKaigue, E McEvoy, C McCluskey; C Doherty, G McKinless, P McGrogan; C Glass, B Rogers; N Toner, Paul Cassidy, E Doherty; B Heron, S McGuigan, N Loughlin.