Fitzpatrick the only change for Louth

Stephen Fitzpatrick, son of manager Peter Fitzpatrick, has been drafted into the Louth team for tomorrow's All-Ireland SFC qualifier against Meath at Kingspan Breffni Park (throw-in 7pm).

Stephen Fitzpatrick, son of manager Peter Fitzpatrick, has been drafted into the Louth team for tomorrow's All-Ireland SFC qualifier against Meath at Kingspan Breffni Park (throw-in 7pm).

The Clan na Gael clubman will start at wing back with Liam Shevlin taking up the centre-back role, at the expense of Mick Fanning who had been carrying a calf injury.

Fanning and John O'Brien both recently returned from spells in Australia and America.

Fanning played in Louth's Leinster Championship defeat to Carlow, but O'Brien was ruled ineligible after being given a 48-week ban by the GAA's Central Competitions Control Committe for signing the wrong transfer form and playing a match in Boston earlier in the summer.

But consultation between the CCCC and the Central Hearings Committee resulted in the ban being quashed. O'Brien, who has been nursing a hamstring injury, is free to play - fitness permitting - in this repeat of last year's controversial Leinster final.

Andy McDonnell (dead leg) is a concern for the Louth management, but midfielder Paddy Keenan has shaken off a back complaint to lead the team once again and wing forward Derek Crilly is over his calf injury.

Playing down the relevance of the counties' most recent Championship meeting, which was decided by Joe Sheridan's headline-grabbing 'goal', Fitzpatrick said: "It is a game of football we want to win and it's a game of football we need to win - nothing else.

"We were very poor against Carlow. I know that and the lads know that, and it's about putting that performance right.

"To be fair to the lads, training has been good since then and I know if we play the way we are capable of playing it will take a very good team to beat us.

"I'm not saying we have a magic wand to fix what went wrong (against Carlow), but we'll pick the best team we possibly can and give it our all. I trust this team."

LOUTH (SFC v Meath): Sean Connor; Declan Byrne, Aaron Hoey, Dessie Finnegan; Ray Finnegan, Liam Shevlin, Stephen Fitzpatrick; Paddy Keenan (capt), Brian Donnelly; Derek Crilly, David Reid, Adrian Reid; Derek Maguire, Shane Lennon, JP Rooney.

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