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Kildare return to action in O'Byrne Cup

posted 7 Jan 2012, 04:04 by Kildangan PRO   [ updated 7 Jan 2012, 15:19 by Andy W ]

  The Kildare footballers return to action this weekend when they begin the defence of their O’Byrne Cup title against DIT in St. Conleth’s Park Newbridge on Sunday, January 8th at 2pm. Kildare won this competition last year defeating Louth in the final with two dramatic late goals from Ronan Sweeney and Keith Cribbin and will hope to again be a force in the competition. The Lilies have returned to training this week and hope to have a strong panel available for selection with some of last year’s injured players now back in action. 

Joe Crowe from Carbury and St. Laurences’ Dessie Lawlor have both joined the panel, while Damien Hendy, David Whyte and Keith Cribbin are no longer involved. Damien has retired from intercounty action having given great service to Kildare, while David and Keith have opted off the panel for 2012. Dermot Earley, Hugh Lynch, Willie Heffernan and Mark O’Sullivan are all still out of action following cruciate ligament injuries last year, but Peter Kelly and Ken Donnelly are both back in full training. Andriú MacLochlainn is recovering from injury at present and will be unavailable for selection this weekend, All Star fullback Mick Foley is still awaytravelling, while goalkeeper Shane McCormack will be involved with UUJ in the McKenna Cup against Donegal.

Indeed it will be interesting to see what team Kieran McGeeney and his selectors opt for in this opening game of the season with a number of young players hoping to get their chance to impress the manager and stake a claim for inclusion when the league commences in February against Tyrone, while many of the experienced players will also be anxious to get game time under their belts as they look to achieve match fitness. DIT will be using the game as preparation for the Sigerson Cup and should prove to be very tough opponents for the Lilies. Hopefully there will be a good crowd in attendance to cheer on the home team.