My fellow Mayo GAA blogger TIALTNGO has the world exclusive on this one: our 2009 championship panel has just been announced. My world exclusive on this is a far humbler one: I can reveal that, unlike last year, this time Johnno has gone the whole hog and named a panel of 30 players for the upcoming summer campaign.
As you’d expect, there are no major shocks (and so no Super Mac but that was never on anyway) but the exclusion of Aidan Higgins – who only returned to the panel a few weeks ago – will raise a few eyebrows. The cutting of Mickey Mullins and Colm Boyle from the NFL panel would have largely been expected and while Robert Hennelly also loses out, that’s no reflection on the capabilities of this year’s U21 net-minder: he’ll surely own the keeper’s jersey for the county in the years to come. In addition, last year’s club player of the year, Barry Regan, doesn’t feature but I assume this is because he has some kind of long-term injury.
TIALTNGO lists the panel in alphabetical order so just to be different I’ll do so in terms of broad positions (even if this means putting a few square pegs in round holes). Here’s the list in full:
Goalkeepers (2): David Clarke (Ballina), Kenneth O’Malley (Ballinrobe)
Backs (13): Chris Barrett (Belmullet), Ger Cafferkey (Ballina), Ciaran Conroy (Shrule/Glencorrib), Tom Cunniffe (Castlebar), Peadar Gardiner (Crossmolina), David Heaney (Swinford), Keith Higgins (Ballyhaunis), Trevor Howley (Knockmore), Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore), Andy Moran (Ballaghaderreen), James Nallen (Crossmolina), Liam O’Malley (Burrishoole), Donal Vaughan (Ballinrobe).
Midfielders (4): Patrick Harte (Ballina), Ronan McGarrity (Ballina), Seamus O’Shea (Breaffy), Tom Parsons (Charlestown).
Forwards (11): Alan Dillon (Ballintubber), Barry Kelly (Ballaghaderreen), Aidan Kilcoyne (Knockmore), Barry Moran (Castlebar), Conor Mortimer (Shrule/Glenocorrib), Trevor Mortimer (Shrule/Glencorrib), Austin O’Malley (St Vincent’s), Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy), Billy Joe Padden (Belmullet), Mark Ronaldson (Shrule/Glencorrib), Mikey Sweeney (Kiltane).