Norman gets the nod for Wicklow

Former Shelbourne goalkeeper Billy Norman has been handed a surprise call-up by Mick O'Dwyer for Wicklow's Leinster SFC clash with Louth this Sunday (Croke Park, throw-in 2.10pm).

Former Shelbourne goalkeeper Billy Norman has been handed a surprise call-up by Mick O'Dwyer for Wicklow's Leinster SFC clash with Louth this Sunday (Croke Park, throw-in 2.10pm).

Norman, who plays for Éire Óg in Greystones and regularly lines out for the county's Under-21s, will make his first championship start as he gets the nod ahead of Mervyn Travers, who had a spell with Leeds United in England.

Norman is one of nine changes to the Wicklow team from last year's championship defeat to Carlow, while former Carlow star Thomas Walsh, whose transfer caught the headlines earlier this year, will line out for his adopted county at midfield.

Experienced defender Brendan S hAnnaidh is back to bolster the Wicklow defence. The Bray Emmets clubman has been working in France for the last 18 months but has been travelling back and forth over the past month to train with O'Dwyer's panel.

Alan Byrne and Jacko Dalton will also be making their first championship starts this weekend.

Louth will start without ace attacker JP Rooney (shoulder) and last season's captain Martin Farrelly (ankle) on Sunday, but they can still boast an experienced starting line-up.

There are no championship debutants in the Wee county side and Eamonn McEnaney's men seem nicely poised to end Wicklow's championship hopes.

Wicklow and Louth last met in the championship in 2003 when the Wee men won 4-12 to 2-7 at Croke Park. In all, Louth have won 11 of the counties' 14 championship clashes.

WICKLOW (SFC v Louth) - B Norman; C Hyland, D Power, A Byrne; L Glynn, D O hAnnaidh, B O hAnnaidh; J Stafford, T Walsh; T Hannon, P Dalton, JP Dalton; T Gill, D Jackmanm, P Earls.

LOUTH - S Reynolds; D Brennan, C Goss, A Page; R Finnegan, P McGinnity, J Carr; P Keenan, R Carroll; C Grimes, M Brennan, J O'Brien; A Hoey, S Lennon, D Clarke.

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