O’Connor gives O’Sullivan new role for Kingdom

JACK O’CONNOR has moved 2009 All-Ireland winning captain Darran O’Sullivan from his customary forward role to left-half back for tomorrow’s McGrath Cup opener against Tralee IT.

The Glenbeigh/Glencar man is just one of four survivors from the side that lost last year’s All-Ireland quarter-final to Down — goalkeeper Brendan Kealy, Donncha Walsh and Kieran Donaghy being the other three.

Anthony Maher and David Moran, who came on as a substitutes in the July game, start in midfield.

Donegal’s new manager Jim McGuinness has had an unfortunate start to his term with his panel having been hit by the winter flu bug.

McGuinness was forced to delay naming his team for tomorrow’s McKenna Cup opening game with Tyrone because of the high number of players currently unavailable due to the illness.

At least four players — Kevin Cassidy, Neil Gallagher, Daniel McLaughlin and Kevin Mulhern — are understood to have contracted the bug and are doubts ahead of the trip to Omagh’s Healy Park.

McGuinness’ opposite number can count himself a lot luckier as he is able to name a strong-looking side for the game with former footballers of the year Seán Cavanagh and Stephen O’Neill starting in midfield and at full-forward respectively.

Westmeath’s O’Byrne Cup game against Dublin has been switched from their county ground Cusack Park to St Loman’s Grounds in Mullingar. Dublin boss Pat Gilroy has included four members of last year’s All-Ireland U21 winning side in his starting side. Nicky Devereux, Sean Murray and Darragh Nelson form the half-back line while Darragh Stapleton starts at right corner-forward.

Portaloise GAA club are hosting a debate involving GAA stars and celebrities on Friday, January 21 at 8pm in the club’s GAA centre. The event is being organised in order to raise much-needed funds for the club who have struggled to deal with the financial implications of the collapse of the sale of its existing facilities beside O’Moore Park. RTE’s Marty Morrissey is the MC for the event with guests on the night including Liam Griffin, Michael Duignan, Pat McEnaney, Liam O’Neill and Eugene McGee. Tickets cost €15 with some of the issues to be discussed including the introduction of video technology, the survival of the provincial hurling championships, rule changes in Gaelic Football and the future of rural and urban clubs.

TYRONE (SF v Donegal): J Curran; A McCrory, C McCarron, D Carlin; D Harte, C Gormley, R McMenamin; A Cassidy, S Cavanagh; C Cavanagh, B McGuigan, C Gervin; M Penrose, S O’Neill, M Donnelly.

WICKLOW (SF v Laois): J Flynn; S Kelly, A Nolan, A Byrne; P Cunningham, A McLoughlin, D Hayden; R Finn, C McGraynor; P Dalton, T Hannon, P Earls; L Glynn, S Furlong, D Siney DUBLIN (SF v Westmeath): S Cluxton; N Devereux, S Murray, D Nelson; P Casey, G Brennan, D Daly; C Murphy, K Bonner; A Hubbard, T Quinn, D Kelly; D Stapleton, E O’Gara, K McManamon.

KERRY (SF v IT Tralee): B Kealy; P Reidy, M Moloney, S Enright; J Lyne, B Guiney, Darran O’Sullivan; A Maher, D Moran; G Sayers, D Walsh, N O’Mahony; D Geaney, K Donaghy, P Geraney.

LAOIS (SF v Wicklow): D Maher; S Julian, D Booth, R Kehoe; P Begley, D Strong, C Boyle; P Clancy, C Óg Greene; C Rogers, C Parkinson, G Kavanagh; M Finlay, D Carroll, J Enright.

ARMAGH (SF v Antrim): P McEvoy; V Martin, K Toner, P Duffy; K Dyas, D McKenna, J Feeney; C Vernon, G O’Neill; R Grugan, M O’Rourke, A Duffy; G McParland, B Mallon, C Watters.

MEATH (O’Byrne Cup v U.C.D): .B Murphy; .C McGill, .J Macken, D Dalton; D Morgan, C McGuinness, C Lenihan; M Ward, C Gillespie; S McAnerney, C Ward, N Mooney; G Reilly, B Sheridan, B Farrell.

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