James Horan has announced his first starting fifteen for Mayo – Club Mayo Dublin had the world exclusive on this one a few minutes ago. Here it is:
Mayo (FBD League v Leitrim, 9/1/2011): David Clarke (Ballina Stephenites); Cathal Hallinan (Ballintubber), Ger Cafferkey (Ballina Stephenites), Richie Feeney (Castlebar Mitchels); Trevor Howley (Knockmore), Mike Nestor (Ballintubber), Chris Barrett (Belmullet); Ronan McGarrity (Ballina Stephenites), Barry Moran (Castlebar Mitchels); Aidan Campbell (Swinford), Austin O’Malley (St. Vincent’s), Aidan Kilcoyne (Knockmore); Kevin Dolan (Tourmakeady), Andy Moran (captain) (Ballaghaderreen), Brian Benson (Crossmolina).
Obviously, it’s only the opening FBD match and, with so many players unavailable for this particular competition and bearing in mind James Horan’s stated intention to give every player involved in the set-up at the minute a run-out this month, it’d be daft to read too much into this particular line-up. That said, it’s an interesting pick with a good mixture of experience and fresh faces.
It’s no surprise to see the two Ballintubber lads come in – indeed, the only small surprise is that more of them haven’t been named. A mean defence was one of the hallmarks of Ballintubber’s championship campaign last year and so it’ll be interesting to see if Cathal Hallinan and Mike Nestor can bring the same kind of outlook to the county’s back unit. Stirring club performances in 2010 by Castlebar’s Richie Feeney and Kevin Dolan from Tourmakeady have also opened the way for both to show what they can do in the green and red and it’d be good to see both taking their club form with them to Ballinamore.
It’s great to see Aidan Campbell’s name in a Mayo team for the first time in ages and surprising too to see Austie back in the frame. Andy Moran – a man well known for bellowing loudly to all and sundry on the pitch – is named as team captain for this fixture but it’s not clear if he’s being handed that role for the full year.