Val Andrews has named a youthful Cavan side to face Donegal in this weekend’s Ulster Championship quarter final tie with Donegal.
Gearoid McKiernan, Niall Murray, Niall McDermott and Fergal Flanagan will graduate from the under 21’s straight into the white hot heat of senior Championship action.
That quartet make up just half of the Championship debutants Andrews have on show in the starting line-up for Sunday’s Breffni Park showdown.
Cavan will face a powerful Donegal side who, having slogged their way past Antrim, will be looking to claim their first Ulster title since 1992.
Cavan may have won more Ulster titles than anyone, but the vast majority of their 39 crowns came before 1960.
They last lifted the Anglo Celt Cup in 1997 which led to a sound beating at the hands of Kerry in that year’s All Ireland Semi Final.
This selection appears to be a signal from Andrews that his is a job with a long term focus. While not accepting defeat against the North Westerners they will surely be keeping one realistic eye on the qualifiers.
Star forward Sean Johnston will lead the line but if Donegal can keep him quiet then it will be half the battle in subduing a spirited but limited Cavan side.
Cavan team to face Donegal: James Reilly, James McEnroe, Patrick Carroll, Dane O Dowd, Niall Murray, John McCutcheon, Damien Reilly, Ray Cullivan, David Givney, Gearoid McKiernan, Micheal Lyng, Fergal Flanagan, Niall McDermott, Eugene Keating, Sean Johnston.