Our first team selection of the 2014 championship season was announced a short while ago and here it is:
Mayo (Connacht SFC v New York, 4/5/2014): Robbie Hennelly (Breaffy); Tom Cunniffe (Castlebar Mitchels), Kevin Keane (Westport), Keith Higgins (Ballyhaunis); Lee Keegan (Westport), Colm Boyle (Davitts), Donal Vaughan (Ballinrobe); Jason Gibbons (Ballintubber), Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy); Diarmuid O’Connor (Ballintubber), Seamus O’Shea (Breaffy), Jason Doherty (Burrishoole); Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore), Andy Moran (Ballaghaderreen), Cillian O’Connor (Ballintubber).
So it’s just one new championship debutant for Gaelic Park, with Ballintubber’s Diarmuid O’Connor – a member of last year’s All-Ireland winning minor team – lining out at right half-forward, joining an attack that already contains big brother Cillian.
Compared to our last championship selection – last September’s All-Ireland final against Dublin – there are four changes. Out go Ger Cafferkey, Chris Barrett, Alan Dillon and Alan Freeman and they’re replaced by Kevin Keane, Jason Gibbons, Diarmuid O’Connor and Jason Doherty.
Obviously, there are a number of positional switches involved in those changes too, with the most noteworthy one being the redeployment of Keith Higgins back to his more customary corner-back role. Seamus O’Shea lined out at midfield last September but he’ll start on the forty against New York.
Compared to the team that started in the League semi-final defeat to Derry a few weeks back, there are five changes. Out go Ger Cafferkey (who went off injured that day), Brendan Harrison, Shane McHale, Alan Freeman and Mikie Sweeney and in come Tom Cunniffe (who missed the Derry match through injury), Kevin Keane, Diarmuid O’Connor, Seamus O’Shea and Cillian O’Connor (who was also out injured then).
New York also named their team for Sunday earlier on today, featuring players from eleven different counties – full details here.