The new season for the Longford senior footballers starts on Sunday next when they meet Maynooth University in Round 1 of the O’Byrne Cup and the good news is that Robbie Smyth, Mark Hughes, Michael Brady, Donal McElligott and James McGivney are some of the players who have returned to the county squad.
Other notable names are missing for different reasons but manager Denis Connerton and his fellow mentors Ciaran Fox, Enda Macken and Derek Ryan are working hard in preparing the squad for the National League Division 3 campaign which starts with a tough task away to Offaly at O’Connor Park, Tullamore on Sunday January 31st.
For the moment the focus will be fixed on the first competitive game in 2016 against Maynooth University at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park on Sunday next (throw-in 2pm) and James Carroll, Conor Shields and Paul McGee are some of the newcomers included in the squad for the opening O’Byrne Cup clash.
While there is never any great emphasis placed on the results in this early season tournament, Longford will still be anxious to make a winning start to the New Year. But Denis Connerton will have to plan without Michael Quinn (committed to DCU) and other college-tied players for the three fixtures in Group D with a local derby against Westmeath scheduled for Tubberclair next Wednesday night, January 6th, throw-in 7.30pm.
The remaining group game is against Wicklow at Pearse Park on Sunday January 10th in the battle for a place the O’Byrne Cup semi-finals on Sunday January 17th.
With Longford playing Wicklow in Round 1 of the Hastings Cup Tournament at Keenan Park, Ardagh on Saturday next (throw-in 12 noon), no under 21 players are listed in the senior panel for the O’Byrne Cup first round game but that stance may change for the midweek fixture away to
The following is the squad v Maynooth University on Sunday next: Paddy Collum (Fr Manning Gaels), Colm Farrell (Longford Slashers), Diarmuid Masterson (Dromard), Barry Gilleran (Longford Slashers), Colm P Smyth (Abbeylara), Shane Doyle (Kenagh), Donal McElligott (Mullinalaghta), Peter Foy (Longford Slashers), Michael Brady (Longford Slashers), Brian Farrell (Mostrim), Paul McKeon (Colmcille), James McGivney (Mullinalaghta), Darren Gallagher (Granard), Barry McKeon (Colmcille), Francis McGee (Dromard), Dermot Brady (Longford Slashers), Fergal Battrim (Abbeylara), Brian Kavanagh (Kilmacud Crokes), James Carroll (Rathcline), Conor Shields (Clonguish), Andrew Dalton (Longford Slashers), Paul McGee (Dromard), Robbie Smyth (Abbeylara), Mark Hughes (Killoe).