Carlow boss Luke Dempsey has decided to hand senior championship debuts to five players ahead of their opening game of the championship against Louth on Sunday.
Goalkeeper Trevor O’Reilly has been giving his managers backing to start between the sticks, Right corner-back Aidan Murphy, left half-back Kieran Nolan and full-back Conor Lawlor are introduced to the defensive line-up, and Ed Finnegan makes his debut in the attacking line.
Shane Redmond captains the side from centre back.
The Carlow attack is missing the suspended JJ Smith. Brendan Murphy has returned to light training on an ankle injury picked up in a recent challenge game against Cavan. However, he is expected to be fit enough to start come Sunday afternoon.
Louth will privately be quite pleased with their 2011 championship draw and consider themselves to be in with a great shout of making amends the wrongs of last year’s final.
The winners of Sunday’s game in Portlaoise will advance to a June 26th semi-final against either Wexford or Westmeath.
The wee county’s manager Peter Fitzpatrick has opted to name the Australia returning Michael Fanning on his team sheet for Sunday. Brian Donnelly gets the nod over Ronan Carroll as Paddy Keenan’s midfield partner, while up front David Reid is granted a starting berth as reward for his recent good form going into the game. Shane Lennon also returns to the full forward line after an injury layoff. Mark Brennan is not so lucky as his back injury requires further treatment which rules him out.
Carlow will look to Sunday with the confidence and belief that they can progress to the semi-final. However, commitment and hunger must translate into a performance. For Carlow to beat this year’s division three champions and 2010’s beaten Leinster finalists Louth would be a huge achievement, but with all due respect somewhat unlikely.
Carlow: Trevor O’Reilly; Aidan Murphy, Conor Lawlor, Benny Kavanagh; Paul Cashin, Shane Redmond, Kieran Nolan; Brendan Murphy, Darragh Foley; Pat Hickey, Thomas Walsh, Ed Finnegan; Brian Murphy, Sean Gannon, Daniel St Ledger.
Subs: J Clarke, A Curran, C Mullins, E Ruth, G Nolan, J Murphy, JP Moore, P Murphy, P McElligott, T Bolger, W Minchin.
Louth: Sean Connor, Declan Byrne, Aaron Hoey, Dessie Finnegan, Ray Finnegan, Michael Fanning, Liam Shevlin, Paddy Keenan, Brian Donnelly, Derek Crilly, David Reid, Adrian Reid, Derek Maguire, Shane Lennon, JP Rooney
Subs: Neil Gallagher, Andy McDonnell, Paraic Smith, Ronan Carroll, Gerard Hoey, Eamonn McAuley, Stephen Fitzpatrick, Darren Clarke, Jamie Carr, Padraig Rath, Ronan Greene