It’s not a decision that’s likely to find favour with the likes of Dublin, Kerry or Tyrone – all of whom are in the hunt along with us for the remaining two League semi-final places that are still up for grabs – but if we really are intent on making the play-offs then Derry’s naming of an almost completely changed team for Sunday’s Round 7 League match with us at MacHale Park is one that should make our job a whole load easier. As has already been pointed out in the comments, just one player – Emmet McGuckian – remains from the starting fifteen that lined out against Kildare last time out as Brian McIvor has named the following team and subs for Sunday:
Derry (NFL Division One v Mayo, 6/4/2014): Eoin McNicholl (Gleann an Iolair; Oisin Duffy (Forghleann), Conor McAtamney (Suaitreach), Karl McKaigue (Leacht Néill); Charlie Kielt (Cill Ria, captain), Mark Craig (Dún Geimhin), Aidan McAlynn (An Lúb); Emmett McGuckin (Machaire Fíolta), Niall Holly (Eoghan Rua); Aaron Devlin (Baile an Doire), Danny Heavron (Machaire Fíolta), Carlus McWilliams (Baile na Scrine); James Kearney (Suaitreach), Declan Mullan (Eoghan Rua), Ciaran McGoldrick (Eoghan Rua). Subs: Thomas Mallon (An Lúb), Gerard O’Kane (Gleann an Iolair), Kieran Conway (Baile na Scrine),Paudie McGuigan (Leacht Néill), Emmet Bradley (Gleann), Peter Cassidy (Baile Eachaidh), Aaron Kerrigan (Clóidigh), Neill McNicholl (Gleann an Iolair), Niall McFeely (Fothaír Ghleann), Ryan Bell (Baile an Doire)Anthony O’Neill (An Lúb), Cailean O’Boyle (Leamhaigh).
Suddenly those 1/4 odds on us to prevail on Sunday don’t look all that out of whack (hang on, they do – we’re now 1/8 with Paddy Power to do the business on Sunday). How we’ll respond when we name our team remains to be seen – for sure, James now has a bit more leeway to experiment with his starting line-up but the bottom line, I guess, is that we want to be sure of claiming the win. In view of this, I’d say it’s more likely we’ll see a strong team named to start and if we’re in a good position early in the second half, the bench emptying could get underway at that stage.
No word yet on when we’ll be naming our team but I guess this will be done at some stage tomorrow.