Johnston's league bow a big boost for Kildare
KILDARE have mustered as much experience as possible to take on All-Ireland champions Donegal on their return to Division 1 football tonight, but Kerry will be much more experimental against Mayo tomorrow.
Former Cavan player Seanie Johnston will finally make his league debut for the Lilywhites in Croke Park, but impressive Johnstown- bridge newcomer Cathal McNally is the only one of Kildare's recent newcomers to make the breakthrough, starting at centre-forward in a team that sees Gary White partner Padraig O'Neill in midfield.
New Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice has given Jack Sherwood (Firies) and Michael O'Donoghue (Spa) league debuts at centre-back and half-forward respectively.
Dr Croke's have released Johnny Buckley to captain the side from midfield in Castlebar, while Dingle's Michael and Paul Geaney start in attack.
The Kingdom start the new season without many of their championship stars as Tomas O Se, Kieran Donaghy, Colm Cooper, Eoin Brosnan and Paul Galvin are among those unavailable at present, while Declan O'Sullivan and Donnchadh Walsh are both currently injured.
All-Ireland finalists Mayo will definitely start without Alan Dillon and could yet be without their other two All Stars as Ger Cafferkey and Alan Dillon face late fitness tests.
Wingback Stephen Crosbie (Drumconrath) has been given his first league start for Meath's footballers against Monaghan and Galway hurling boss Anthony Cunningham has picked 10 of his All-Ireland final team for the Walsh Cup semi-final against Dublin.
KERRY (SF v Mayo) – B Kealy; M Ó Sé, A O'Mahony, S Enright; J Lyne, J Sherwood, K Young; A Maher, J Buckley; M Geaney, Darran O'Sullivan, M O'Donoghue; B J Keane, P Curtin, P Geaney.
DUBLIN (SF v Cork) – S Cluxton; J Cooper, Rory O'Carroll, K O'Brien; D Daly, G Brennan, J McCaffrey; MD Macauley, D O'Mahony; P Flynn, P Andrews, P Quinn; K McMenamon, D Connolly, B Brogan.
KILDARE (SF v Donegal) – S Connolly; O Lyons, P Kelly, H McGrillen; E Bolton, M Foley, M Conway; G White, P O'Neill; B Flanagan, C McNally, E O'Flaherty; S Johnston, T O'Connor, J Doyle.
MEATH (SF v Monaghan) – P O'Rourke; D Keoghan, B Menton, D Dalton; C Lenihan, E Harrington, S Crosby; J Sheridan, C Gillespie; B Meade, D Carroll, J Queeney; P Gilsenan, P Byrne, B Farrell.
Monaghan (SF) – M Keogh, C Walshe, F Kelly, K Duffy; M McElroy, D Hughes, D Mone; O Lennon, D Clerkin; O Duffy, P Finlay, S McQuillan; K Hughes, C McManus, D Malone.
WEXFORD (SF v Longford) – A Masterson; B Malone, G Molloy, R Tierney; A Doyle, D Murphy, A Flynn; D Waters, C Doyle; M Furlong, B Brosnan, P Byrne; S Roche, R Barrey, PJ Banville.
Cavan (SF v Antrim) – J Reilly; O Minagh, R Dunne, D Barkey; P O'Reilly, A Clarke, J McCutcheon; G McKiernan, D Givney; C Mackey, M Reilly, D O'Reilly; M McKeever, M Dunne, N McDermott.
TIPPERARY (SF v Carlow) – P Fitzgerald; A Morrissey, P Codd, J Coghlan; B Fox, R Kiely, C McDonald; G Hannigan, P Quirke; D Leahy, A Maloney, H Coghlan; M Quinlivan, P Acheson, B Grogan.
OFFALY (SF v London) – A Mulhall; B Darby, E Rigney, S Pender; D Hanlon, D Kelly, G Guilfoyle; A McNamee, R Dalton; R Brady, B Connor, E Carroll; M Mitchell, N McNamee, A Sullivan.
FERMANAGH (SF v Wicklow) – C Snow; R McCluskey, S Lyons, J Woods; M O'Brien, B Cox, D McCusker; J Sherry, R Jones; T McElroy, S McCabe, E Donnelly; P Ward, D Keenan, K Connor.
GALWAY (SH v Dublin) – C Callanan; F Moore, K Hynes, J Coen; D Collins, T Og Regan, A Harte; A Smyth, I Tannian; D Hayes, J Glynn, P Gordon; N Healy, J Canning, D Glennon.
WEXFORD (SH v Kilkenny) – N Breen; B Kenny, C Kenny, E Moore; R Kehoe, A Shore, J Tonks; L Chin, E Doyle; H Kehoe, P Morris, G Moore; PJ Nolan, M O'Regan, P Doran.
Tipperary (SH v LIT) – D Gleeson; C Coughlan, T Stapleton, T Treacy; J McLoughney, R Sherlock, O Quirke; S McGrath, C O'Brien; J O'Dwyer, J Woodlock, J Forde; J O'Neill, C Hogan, O'Brien.