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Key men, critical questions and fixtures: Everything you need to know about Allianz League Division 4


Thomas Galligan remains a major presence around the middle for Cavan. Photo: Sportsfile

Thomas Galligan remains a major presence around the middle for Cavan. Photo: Sportsfile

Thomas Galligan remains a major presence around the middle for Cavan. Photo: Sportsfile


Manager: Niall Carew (3rd season)

Captain: Darragh Foley

Main man: Jordan Morrissey, a Sigerson winner with DCU in 2020, his energy and athleticism in midfield are crucial to Carlow’s game.

One to watch: Shane Buggy, another Éire Óg man and a minor as recently as 2019. A genuine prospect at wing-back.

Critical question: How quickly can they build a defence without the strengths of Shane Redmond, Daniel St Ledger, John Murphy and Conor Lawler?

League fixtures: Jan 29 v London (h), 7.0; Feb 6 v Sligo (a), 1.0; Feb 19 v Waterford (h), 7.0; Feb 27 v Cavan (a), 2.0; Mar 13 v Leitrim (h), 2.0; Mar 19 v Tipperary (a), 3.45; Mar 27 v Wexford (h), 1.0.


Manager: Mickey Graham (4th season)

Captain: Ray Galligan

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Main man: Thomas Galligan, a major presence around the middle and invariably comes up with the big plays when required.

One to watch: James Smith. Just 21 when Cavan won Ulster in 2020, he missed most of last year with concussion but back now and going well in the forwards.

Critical question: Which was the fluke? Winning Ulster in 2020 or being relegated to Division 4 in 2021?

League fixtures: Jan 30 v Leitrim (a), 2.0; Feb 6 v Wexford (h), 2.0; Feb 20 v Sligo (a), 2.0; Feb 27 v Carlow (h), 2.0; Mar 13 v Tipperary (h), 2.0; Mar 19 v London (a), 12.0; Mar 27 v Waterford (h), 1.0.


Manager: Andy Moran (1st season)

Captain: TBC

Main man: Keith Beirne. Strong enough to win his own ball and strikes it as sweetly as anyone.

One to watch: Emlyn Mulligan, now 34 and back on the panel for the first time since 2019. Should add some craft to a young attack.

Critical question: Just how quickly can Moran and his management team influence the results for a group struggling for traction since the 2019 league?

League fixtures: Jan 30 v Cavan (h), 2.0; Feb 6 v Tipperary (a), 2.0; Feb 20 v London (h), 12.0; Feb 27 v Waterford (a), 2.0; Mar 13 v Carlow (a), 2.0; Mar 19 v Wexford (h), 2.30; Mar 26 2.0; v Leitrim (h) 1.0.


Manager: Michael Maher (3rd season)

Captain: TBC

Main man: At 34, Cahir Healy is set to play his first inter-county games for London this year since lining out for Laois against Clare in February 2020.

One to watch: Enda McCormick, the Donegal man who scored a stunning goal for their minors in the 2016 All-Ireland semi-final.

Critical question: Just how competitive is it realistic for London to be, given they have played just five competitive games since Maher’s appointment almost two years ago?

League fixtures: Jan 29 v Carlow (a), 7.0; Feb 6 v Waterford (h), 1.0; Feb 20 v Leitrim (a), 12.0; Feb 27 v Wexford (h), 1.0; Mar 13 v Sligo (a), 12.0; Mar 19 v Cavan (h), 12.0; Mar 26 v Tipperary (a), 7.0.


Manager: Tony McEntee (2nd season)

Captain: Keelan Cawley

Main man: Niall Murphy, Sligo’s Sigerson winner and International Rules cap, has looked particularly sharp in pre-season.

One to watch: Pat Spillane. Had a couple of outstanding performances in midfield for St Jude’s last year in arguably the toughest club championship in the country.

Critical question: Given the young age profile of the squad, can they afford to lose a player of Red Óg Murphy’s talent?

League fixtures: Jan 30 v Wexford (a), 2.0; Feb 6 v Carlow (h), 1.0; Feb 20 v Cavan (h), 2.0; Feb 26 v Tipperary (a), 7.0; Mar 13 v London (h), 12.0; Mar 19 v Waterford (a), Mar 26 2.0; v Leitrim (h) 1.0.


Manager: David Power (3rd season)

Captain: Conor Sweeney

Main man: Having made his senior inter-county debut in 2010, Sweeney remains one of the sharpest forwards in Munster.

One to watch: Seán O’Connor, outstanding for the U-20s last year, is a much-needed new face in attack.

Critical question: How to fill the gaping void left by Michael Quinlivan?

League fixtures: Jan 30 v Waterford (a), 2.0; Feb 6 v Leitrim (h), 2.0; Feb 20 v Wexford (a), 2.0; Feb 26 v Sligo (h), 7.0; Mar 13 v Cavan (a), 2.0; Mar 19 v Carlow (h), 3.45; Mar 26 v London (h), 7.0.


Manager: Ephie Fitzgerald (1st season)

Captain: Dylan Guiry

Main man: Darach Ó Cathasaigh only made his senior debut in 2020 but has become an influential defensive figure since.

One to watch: Tom O’Connell, the full-forward who scored a hat-trick in last year’s Munster U-20 quarter-final victory over Clare.

Critical question: Where are they likeliest to pick up a win? Four away games, one of which is in London, represents a tough programme of fixtures.

League fixtures: Jan 30 v Tipperary (h), 2.0; Feb 6 v London (a), 1.0; Feb 19 v Carlow (a), 7.0; Feb 27 v Leitrim (h), 2.0; Mar 13 v Wexford (a), 2.0; Mar 19 v Sligo (h), 2.0; Mar 27 v Cavan (a), 1.0.


Manager: Shane Roche (3rd season)

Captain: Martin O’Connor

Main man: Ben Brosnan – now in his 12th year with Wexford, his long-range free-taking is still invaluable.

One to watch: Dean O’Toole, a nephew of Matty Forde, looks a good prospect up front.

Critical question: Where will the scores come from? Wexford need to find a couple of reliable sources and boost their average this spring.

League fixtures: Jan 30 v Sligo (h), 2.0; Feb 6 v Cavan (a), 2.0; Feb 20 v Tipperary (h), 2.0; Feb 27 v London (a), 1.0; Mar 13 v Waterford (h), 2.0; Mar 19 v Leitrim (a), 2.30; Mar 27 v Carlow (a), 1.0.

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