Tuesday 21 November 2017

carlow blow as walsh emigrates

Lack of employment forces midfielder to move Stateside

DUBLIN won't have to face Carlow's other midfield powerhouse in their first competitive match of the season this Sunday after it emerged that Barrowside's prodigal son, Thomas Walsh, has been forced to emigrate.

Walsh, who spent a three-year stint playing for neighbours, Wicklow, under Mick O'Dwyer, before returning to his native county in 2010, has left the country due to a lack of employment and is currently living in Boston and thus won't be around for the visit of the All-Ireland champions to Dr Cullen Park this Sunday for their O'Byrne Cup opener (2.0).

International Rules player, Brendan Murphy, will be available, however, as will returning squad members Derek Hayden and Paul Reid - both of whom sat out 2011.

Dublin will name their team to face Luke Dempsey's men on Friday morning when it is expected a raft of new players will be blooded.

Already, Ballymun Kickhams defender and Dublin minor of the last two summers, John Small, has made his senior bow when impressing in last Sunday's Evening Herald/Dublin Bus Dubs Stars challenge and by necessity, more are set to follow in his lead.

Pat Gilroy revealed last Sunday that of the 32 players present last September, the All-Ireland champions will have only 13 of their winning squad available as college commitments and injuries impacting on resources.

2010 Footballer Of The Year, Bernard Brogan, remains abroad on an extended holiday and is now certain to miss Dublin's Allianz FL opener with Kerry on February 4 in Croke Park.

EOIN KELLY'S immediate inter-county future appears bleak after new Waterford manager, Michael Ryan, confirmed he would not be involved in their initial plans.

The 29-year-old two-time All Star was informed of management's decision not to include him and Kelly faces a battle to work his way back into contention again under the new regime.

"Eoin is not part of our plans at the moment but our squad is open-ended and we will continue to monitor all players," confirmed Ryan.

The flamboyant attacker was not invited to an initial meeting between the panel and Ryan last October and was instead handed a personal fitness programme by new trainer Pat Flanagan (former Kerry senior football trainer).

He underwent the test last month but was only informed yesterday that the results were substandard and as a result, he would not be included in the squad.

PADDY BRADLEY is aiming to make his Derry comeback in Sunday's opening McKenna Cup game against Cavan. Bradley, who helped the Oak Leafers win the competition last year, has been out since April owing to a knee injury.

The former All Star missed Derry's championship campaign after sustaining a torn cruciate ligament while playing for his club Glenullin.

"I have been given the all-clear by the specialist and the knee has been holding up well in training," said Bradley. "Hopefully, everything goes well for the McKenna Cup. The rehabilitation has been tough, but I have enjoyed it."

GALWAY (SF v Sligo IT): B O'Donoghue; K Kelly, C Forde, D O'Neill; C Halloran, G Bradshaw, D O'Reilly; F ó Curraoin, P Conroy; C Kenny, C Bane, M Boyle; A Murphy, JJ Greaney, S Maughan.

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