The Mayo News is out today and the paper has some news on how things are shaping up in relation to injuries within the squad. It’s fair to say that reports on this front are a bit mixed and at this stage are still lacking in clarity.
The bad news first. There are doubts surrounding the participation of Lee Keegan, Ger Cafferkey and Chris Barrett for the Derry game, while Aidan O’Shea’s groin problems will almost certainly restrict his participation in Saturday’s contest to the role of impact sub.
I know there are all manner of stories doing the rounds about injuries at the minute. My understanding, which could, I accept, be wide of the mark, is that nobody – aside from the suspended Keith Higgins – is ruled out for definite at this stage. Lee, Ger and Chris might all line out on Saturday but equally they might all miss the match too.
As I said yesterday, we’re unlikely – irrespective of who is included in the team we name – to know for sure what the team is until shortly before throw-in. On that point, Seán Rice mentions in his column the repeated leaks about late changes to our line-up. The switch of Robbie Hennelly in place of David Clarke was an open secret well before the replay got underway last October and it was common knowledge in Pearse Stadium a good hour before throw-in that Colm Boyle and Jason Doherty wouldn’t be starting and that Donal Vaughan and Stephen Coen would.
And the good news? Barry Moran and Conor O’Shea are, according to the paper, both back in training and could feature in the match-day panel for Saturday.
There’s loads more, by the way, in this week’s Mayo News on Saturday’s clash. Billy Joe Padden’s tactics piece is always worth a read, while Edwin McGreal has a feature on the county’s favourite Derryman. Mickey Moran was only in charge of the senior team for a single season but he unexpectedly brought us all the way to the All-Ireland final in 2006. The following year we met Derry for the first and so far only time in the championship and that July 2007 defeat is featured in a piece with Daniel Carey. As I said, plenty there to get stuck into.
Finally, speaking of another Derry person, I’ve been asked to give a plug to an event hosted by Boyle GAA this coming Friday (30th June). Styled as The Road to Croker, this fundraising event event will feature several well-known GAA luminaries, including a certain Oakleafer. Full details on the event are here and throw-in at St Joseph’s Hall in the town is set for 8.30pm on Friday evening.