Coulter and Rafferty fit to face Kerry

Down manager James McCartan has selected an unchanged side for tomorrow's All-Ireland SFC quarter-final against Kerry at Croke Park (throw-in 2pm).

Corner forward Benny Coulter (calf) and corner back Damien Rafferty (elbow) are poised to start after shaking off their respective injuries.

"It's miraculous that for a visit to Croke Park nobody is injured," said McCartan.

"I've seen boys come off crutches and Lazurus would have played at Croke Park this weekend if he was a Down man!"

In other team news, forward Ronan Murtagh is again listed among the substitutes despite scoring 1-5 in the Mourne men's qualifier win over Sligo last Saturday.

Tomorrow's game will be unique in Down GAA history, with it being the first time a team from the county has contested an All-Ireland SFC quarter-final.

"Obviously since the quarter-finals have been set up, it's the first time we have made it. It's a nice place to be, but it's new ground for us, yes," McCartan told Q101 Sport.

The sides have met on four previous occasions in Championship football, with Down yet to lose to the Kingdom.

But McCartan says that history will play no role this weekend.

"All of that is from a long time ago, and it is not going to really help us this time around," he said.

"I suppose I have my own experience of that in the nineties (a 2-9 to 0-8 All-Ireland semi-final win). The great (Down) teams of the sixties didn't help us that day - we had to go out and make our own history.

"I'm hopeful that these guys on Saturday afternoon can take their own chance.

"They are at a different stage of development than us. Kerry have obviously got a bag full of All-Ireland (senior) medals - we have got zero.

"They are the pinnacle and something that this group of players would like to reach, but we are going to get a chance against them on Saturday."

DOWN (SFC v Kerry): B McVeigh; D McCartan, D Gordon, D Rafferty; D Rooney, K McKernan, C Garvey; A Rogers (capt), K King; D Hughes, M Poland, P McComiskey; B Coulter, J Clarke, M Clarke.

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