Newcomers included in Down football panel

Down senior football manager Ross Carr has included a number of championship newcomers in his newly announced 34-man panel, following the county's disappointing NFL campaign.

Down senior football manager Ross Carr has included a number of championship newcomers in his newly announced 34-man panel, following the county's disappointing NFL campaign.

Down were relegated to the restructured Division Three after drawing one and losing the remainder of their league games this season.

But Carr's outfit could breathe some life into their season and turn things around in the championship, beginning with their Ulster SFC preliminary round encounter with Cavan on May 13.

Brendan Grant, Eoin McCartan and Paul McComiskey have been drafted into the Down squad after missing out on league action.

McCartan was injured during the NFL and will make a welcome return, while Dundrum clubman McComiskey, a noted talent at minor and Under-21, could make his breakthrough at senior level this summer.

However, defender Grant's championship aspirations suffered a hammer blow at the weekend when he sustained serious facial injuries in a club game.

He shattered his cheekbone and suffered a hairline fracture of his jaw whilst playing for Mayobridge against Burren. Grant underwent surgery yesterday and is facing a lengthy lay-off.

Carr's long list of potential championship debutants includes Jack Lynch, Aidan Burns, Brendan McGourty, Packie Downey, Kevin McGuigan, Adrian Carville, John Boyle, Brian Sweeney, Stephen Toner, Colm Murtagh and Darren Cunningham.

Injury has kept Liam Doyle, Ambrose Rodgers and Alan Molloy off the panel.

DOWN CHAMPIONSHIP PANEL: B Connell, M McVeigh, B Grant, D McCartan, D Cunningham, D Rooney, J Clarke, K McGuigan, M Cole, O Henry, P Murphy, R Murtagh, S Toner, C Murtagh, A Carville, C McCrickard, D Gordon, J Lynch, M McClean, P Turley, A Burns, A Carr, B Coulter, B Sweeney, B McGourty, D Hughes, E McCartan, J McGovern, J Boyle, M Walsh, P Downey, P McComiskey, R Sexton, S Kearney.

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