GAA | Kelly names his Louth team for Sunday’s Leinster Championship opener
Championship debut for Kevin Carr and Darren Marks
Louth manager Colin Kelly has named his team for this Sunday’s Leinster Senior Championship opener against Wicklow at Parnell Park.
Kevin Carr of Newtown Blues and Darren Marks of Cooley Kickhams have been handed their first Championship start for the Wee County.
However, there is no place in the starting XV for Declan Byrne of St Mochtas, who has been struggling with a back niggle and Adrian Reid of Mattock Rangers, who is only just back from a knee injury.
Kelly also has to plan without the services of Sean O’Mahony’s man Liam Dullaghan (hamstring) and Newtown Blues’ Andy McDonnell (knee) while Derek Maguire of Dundalk Young Irelands is unavailable after moving to America for the summer.
Louth, who won promotion from Division Three, finished 13 places ahead of Wicklow in the National League. The Garden County finished their league campaign second from bottom, winning just one game from seven.
As if any extra incentive was needed, a place in the quarter-final against Meath awaits the winners, but Kelly insists his players will be taking nothing for granted on Sunday afternoon.
“We won’t be looking beyond Wicklow,” said the Louth boss at the launch of the Leinster Championship. “It’ll be a tough match and every championship match brings it’s own problems and we’ll deal with them as they come.
“Wicklow had a couple of tough matches in the National League that didn’t go for them, even though they put themselves in a good position in some of them.
“We’ll just keep on a similar path to what we’ve been on the past few years. We’ll train and prepare as best we can and we’ll try and play an exciting brand of football.
“We’ll express ourselves and the one guarantee is that every player who takes to the field will be trying as hard as he can to do things in the right fashion.
Kelly also stressed the importance of having a panel full of quality in every department, saying that every member of his squad would have a role to play on Sunday.
“It’s a real team ethic and we haven’t probably had the stars that we did in the past where one man has been really outstanding,” he stated.
“There has been a couple of players that have really excelled in the league. Goalkeeper Craig Lynch has been exceptional, Bevan Duffy and Anthony Williams, Andy McDonnell and Paraic Smith.
“They’re players with a huge skillset that have had a real positive National League and hopefully they continue that into the championship and we have a long summer ahead.”
Throw-in at Parnell Park on Sunday is 3pm.
Louth team to play Wicklow
Craig Lynch (Naomh Mairtin)
Padraig Rath (Dreadnots)
Patrick Reilly (St Brides)
Kevin Carr (Newtown Blues)
Darren Marks (Cooley Kickhams)
John Bingham (Ardee St Mary’s)
Anthony Williams (Dreadnots)
James Stewart (Dundalk Gaels)
Tommy Durnin (Westerns)
Conal McKeever (Clan na Gael)
Pauric Smith (Dreadnots)
Bevan Duffy (St Fechin’s)
Ruairi Moore (O’Raghallaigh’s)
Eoin O’Connor (St Patrick’s)
Ryan Burns (Hunterstown Rovers)