Canty captains Cork for Championship opener

Canty captains Cork for Championship opener

Graham Canty has been rated fit enough to captain Cork in Sunday's Munster SFC quarter-final against Clare at Páirc Uí Chaoimh (throw-in 3.30pm).

It will be Canty's first competitive start of the year after recovering from a troublesome hamstring injury.

He topped up his match fitness with recent runouts for Bantry Blues in the Cork Intermediate Championship and for Cork in a challenge match against Laois.

The 30-year-old defender will take his place in the Rebels' half-back line, with Paudie Kissane the player to lose out.

Fit-again goalkeeper Alan Quirke is also back to bolster the reigning All-Ireland champions - he takes over from Ken O'Halloran, while wing back Denis O'Sullivan set for his full Championship debut.

The team chosen by manager Conor Counihan shows four changes to the side that captured the Allianz Football League Division 1 title against Dublin last month.

Along with the inclusions of Canty, Quirke and O'Sullivan, young midfielder Aidan Walsh, who missed the Dublin game with a hamstring injury, comes back in. Pearse O'Neill switches to a wing forward role, covering for the injured Fintan Goold (Achilles tendon).

The back injury John Miskella sustained in the victory over the Dubs keeps him out of consideration, but his defensive colleague, dual player Eoin Cadogan, should be named among the substitutes.

Looking forward to the opening fixture of Cork's summer campaign, Canty said: "The only way we are looking at this is that it is a Munster Championship game. Whoever we are playing, we prepare the same.

"We get our heads right and we get our bodies right. We will turn up on Sunday and give it our best.

"Clare are a good Championship side. They performed well in the league this year and we are expecting a tough test on Sunday."

CORK (SFC v Clare): Alan Quirke; Ray Carey, Michael Shields, Jamie O'Sullivan; Denis O'Sullivan, Noel O'Leary, Graham Canty (capt); Alan O'Connor, Aidan Walsh; Paul Kerrigan, Paddy Kelly, Pearse O'Neill; Daniel Goulding, Donncha O'Connor, Ciaran Sheehan.

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