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Cribbin heading for West'

TOM Cribbin (pictured) is expected to be be ratified as Westmeath senior football manager tonight, thus filling the last remaining inter-county vacancy.

This will be Cribbin's third crack at top level managerdom with a Leinster county, having previously overseen the fortunes of Laois and Offaly.

More recently, the Clane native served as an Under 21 selector with his native Kildare and he succeeds former Dublin All-Ireland winner, Paul Bealin, who was ousted after just one season in charge.

Cribbin's appointment will bring to an end the most protracted appointment saga of the year, after Peter Leahy's candidacy was rejected on a vote from club delegates.

Colm Cooper, meanwhile, could make his comeback from cruciate ligament injury against Dublin in next year's Allianz League.

Kingdom boss Eamonn Fitzmaurice has revealed his plan to return Cooper to the Kerry team "next March. He said: "He'll feature in some of the League games."

Given the All-Ireland champions will host Dublin in Killarney on March 1, the likelihood is that they could be the first team to face Cooper since the injury.