Boost for Meath footballers as Mickey Newman named in panel for National League

Injury-plagued Newman started all but one of Meath's League and Championship games in 2019, blasting 5-55 in total, but missed 2020 due to injuries.
Boost for Meath footballers as Mickey Newman named in panel for National League

Mickey Newman of Meath scores a penalty during the 2019 Leinster SFC clash with Laois. Despite struggling with hip issues, Newman is in the county's 40-man panel for the National League. Picture: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Meath have been boosted by confirmation that prolific attacker Mickey Newman is part of boss Andy McEntee's 2021 plans.

Injury-plagued Newman started all but one of Meath's League and Championship games in 2019, blasting 5-55 in total, but missed 2020 due to injuries.

The Kilmainham attacker has undergone two hip operations in the last 16 months and four surgeries in total across two years.

Newman revealed on The Mind Game podcast in March that he was told by a hip specialist in late 2019 "that inter-county football will no longer happen for me".

But the former All-Star nominee refused to shut the door on a potential comeback and has now been included by McEntee in a 40-man Allianz League panel.

According to a Meath statement, all of McEntee's players are fit and available for selection apart from Newman who is expected to see match action before the end of the league.

Speaking in March, Newman revealed that he spoke to ex-Meath stars Kevin Reilly and Shane O'Rourke about their recoveries from similar hip problems.

Newman said: "Being able to talk to Kev and the fact that he was able to play on for another year with Meath, the fact that Shane O'Rourke is still playing and won two Keegans (Meath SFC titles) back to back with the same issues, that was a massive help, just having that network around me, that I could pick up the phone and ring lads that are in the same boat."

Meath begin their Division 2 North campaign at home to neighbours Westmeath in Navan on May 16.

Attackers Eamon Wallace and Joey Wallace are both included in the panel again despite having the option of focusing on athletics after running competitively last year.

But 2020 Championship goalkeeper Marcus Brennan isn't involved while David Toner, who also lined out in November's Leinster final defeat to Dublin, is in Canada.

Meath (NFL panel): Ben Brennan, Liam Byrne, Darragh Campion, Robin Clarke, Andy Colgan, Brian Conlon, James Conlon, Mathew Costello, Keith Curtis, Ethan Devine, David Dillon, Danny Dixon, Jack Flynn, Eoin Harkin, Padraic Harnan, Cathal Hickey, Harry Hogan, Ronan Jones, Seamus Lavin, Donal Lenihan, Gavin McCoy, David McEntee, James McEntee, Shane McEntee, Conor McGill, Bryan McMahon, Bryan Menton, Jordan Morris, Jordan Muldoon, Michael Newman, Jack O'Connor, Thomas O'Reilly, Cillian O'Sullivan, Fionn Reilly, Ronan Ryan, Jason Scully, Eamon Wallace, Joey Wallace, Shane Walsh.

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