Dr McKenna cup opener as Monaghan trials out new players in Derry fixture

7 January 2011 No Comments by The Northern Standard

This Sunday Monaghan open their 2011 season with a trip to Celtic Park in Derry for their opening game in the Barrett Sports Lighting Dr McKenna Cup. Celtic Park has not been a happy hunting ground for Monaghan over the years and Sundays contest will be a good test for what will be by and large an experimental Monaghan team.
Team manager Eamonn McEnaney has been unable to get much by way of preparation done due to the training ban that applies for the months of November and December and he is also hampered by the fact that so many of last year’s panel of players are unavailable for a variety of reasons mostly through injuries.

A number of players have had operations for injuries, players like Vincent Corey, John Paul Mone, Conor McManus and Kieran Hughes to name but four and they will not figure in the competition at any stage.
Eamonn McEnaney did however hold a number of trials and there are a number of new faces on the panel that he announced for the McKenna Cup.
It looks as if the goalkeeping duties will be shared between Mark Keogh, Sean McDermotts, and Padraig McBennett of Castleblaney. Darren Duffy, Drumhowan, has been called in, there is a recall for Bernard O’Brien, Latton, and Shane Smith, Monaghan Harps, who made his inter county debut against Derry in 2006 and scored two points.
Another Harps player Stephen Driver and Sean McDermotts player Pat Kieran got a call-up as did Gary Ward of Castleblayney and Colin Woods of Blackhill.
Former Scotstown player James O’Hara who is now with Ballyboden in Dublin also got a call up and given his experience could well feature in Sunday’s game.
Other new faces are Keith Hill, Castleblaney, Ted Duffy, Doohamlet, although he will be in action on Saturday in the intermediate league final, and Gary Boyd, Cremartin, along with Ronan Meegan of Inniskeen who could well feature in the attack along with Owen Duffy, Martin McElroy, Ciaran Hanratty and Dermot Malone. Dick Clerkin and Gavin Doogan looks a likely midfield pairing although James O’Hara could also feature, Stephen Driver, Monaghan Harps, could figure in defence and Paul Finlay may well be looked to as leader of the attack on the ‘40.
Full report in The Northern Standard

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