Thursday 18 January 2018

Joe Kernan hoping to add Michael Murphy and Sean Cavanagh to International Rules squad

Donegal's Michael Murphy
Donegal's Michael Murphy
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

International Rules manager Joe Kernan hasn't given up hope of having Donegal star Michael Murphy join his squad as preparations crank up for next month's Test against the Australians.

With county championships across the country coming to a close, Kernan is gaining a clearer picture of who he will have available for the Croke Park showdown on November 21.

And the Armagh All-Ireland-winning manager hopes to have Donegal's Murphy, who skippered the side last year, available along with Tyrone's Sean Cavanagh.

"At the minute we are working off a panel of about 60 but for various reasons you don't get that number," said Kernan whose side last week shared their Castleknock training base with Martin O'Neill's Irish soccer team.

"We've had 37 or 38 lads in and that's what you need for the games we have on a Friday night. And then on Saturdays we work on the more technical aspects of the game.

"We're hoping to have Michael in - he was away last weekend - and Sean Cavanagh had a knock that has cleared up but we've had a great response from the players so far.

"Not one of them has had an issue when we have called them and that's been great. A few like Paul Flynn and Cian O'Sullivan couldn't come in - they have had a long hard season and probably another six or eight weeks on the go isn't what they need.

"But they have been a excellent group to work with and they are willing to make the sacrifices to play. They recognise this is a chance to play for your country."

Kernan will make an initial cut of his squad in a fortnight's time and aims to name his squad of 23 with seven reserves two weeks later.

Irish Independent

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