I’m a bit behind the times on this, I know, as I’m only in the door from a local event but, in any case, I can see that discussion is already well underway on the team we’ve named for our League opener against Monaghan. Here’s the team we’ve announced for the game:
Mayo (NFL Division One v Monaghan, 4/2/2017): David Clarke (Ballina Stephenites); Donie Newcombe (Castlebar Mitchels), Keith Higgins (Ballyhaunis), Paddy Durcan (Castlebar Mitchels); Colm Boyle (Davitts), Stephen Coen (Hollymount/Carramore), David Drake (Ballaghaderreen); Donal Vaughan (Ballinrobe), Danny Kirby (Castlebar Mitchels); Fergal Boland (Aghamore), Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore), Jason Doherty (Burrishoole); Evan Regan (Ballina Stephenites), Alan Freeman (Aghamore), Cillian O’Connor (Ballintubber).
So, as expected, there’s a fair bit of mixing between experience and experimentation for our first competitive outing of 2017. The team named contains two League debutants – Donie Newcombe at corner-back and Fergal Boland at wing-forward (the very best, by the way, to both of them) – and there’s eight changes from the side that lined out in our most recent competitive game, which was, of course, last year’s All-Ireland final replay against Dublin.
Gone from that team are Robbie Hennelly, Brendan Harrison (injured), Lee Keegan (club-tied), Seamus O’Shea (injured), Tom Parsons, Aidan O’Shea (injured), Diarmuid O’Connor (injured) and Andy Moran. In come David Clarke, Donie Newcombe, Stephen Coen, David Drake, Danny Kirby, Fergal Boland, Evan Regan and Alan Freeman. Of those, David Clarke and Stephen Coen came in off the bench last October, while Evan Regan appeared as a sub in the drawn final.
Best of luck to the lads as they go in search of a winning start to this year’s League campaign.