New faces for Cavan Championship campaign

Cavan will have two Championship debutants in their team when they host Armagh in Sunday's Ulster SFC preliminary round tie at Kingspan Breffni Park (throw-in 2pm).

New faces for Cavan Championship campaign

Cavan will have two Championship debutants in their team when they host Armagh in Sunday's Ulster SFC preliminary round tie at Kingspan Breffni Park (throw-in 2pm).

Young goalkeeper Conor Gilsenan will make his SFC bow having deputised successfully for his Bailieborough Shamrocks club-mate Alan O'Hara (broken hand) during the Allianz League.

Gilsenan was part of the team that won the county's third Ulster U-21 title on the trot earlier this year.

Another player who performed with aplomb during the league campaign, forward Martin Dunne, has also earned his first Championship start.

The Cavan Gaels ace will start at full-forward having topped the Breffni men's league scoring charts with 3-19.

Cavan manager Terry Hyland is hoping his side can click first day out in the Championship and believes that home advantage for his youngsters makes it 'a 50-50 game'.

"We played them in the McKenna Cup," he told the GAA website.

"Armagh are under new management with Paul (Grimley) and are probably developing their style.

"In fairness, they improved a lot as they went on in the league. They had a shaky start but had a very good finish to the league.

"To me, it's a 50-50 game. People will say that's a cliche in the GAA, but I would say that's what it is.

"They have a great proud history, Armagh, in Ulster football, and in the last 20 years have probably won more titles than anybody else. I would call it a 50-50 game because of the fact that it's in Breffni Park."

Armagh boss Paul Grimley has also selected a youthful starting line-up, as the Orchard men look to set up a June 16 quarter-final clash with Fermanagh.

Defenders Mark Shields and Paul McKeown, midfielder Stephen Harold and exciting 18-year-old forward Ciaron O'Hanlon will all be making their full Championship debuts.

Indeed, it will be Killeavy youngster O'Hanlon's first senior start in Armagh colours having starred as captain of the St. Paul's Bessbrook side during the recent MacRory Cup competition.

McKeown, who will line out at right corner back, did get some Championship experience back in June 2010 when coming on as a substitute in an All-Ireland qualifier win over Donegal.

Although ace marksman Jamie Clarke is back to spearhead the attack, Armagh enter the 2013 Championship without the injured Kieran Toner, Charlie Vernon, James Morgan, Niall McConville, Seán Clarke, John Kingham and Aidan Forker.

Armagh assistant manager Brendan Hughes told Armagh TV: "At the start of the year when we came together as a management team we looked for a new team and we looked for a young, fast and exciting team.

"We feel this team going out on Sunday has all of the attributes that we were looking for in the group.

"The fact that we have seven players unavailable to us shows, with the quality of the team has been selected, the depth of quality and standard that we have available.

"In addition to the seven unavailable, there is obviously other players of quality ready to come into action. We are happy with team we have picked.

"The players are going well in training and the players are picked on form. We are going to Cavan full of confidence."

CAVAN (SFC v Armagh): Conor Gilsenan; Jason McLoughlin, Rory Dunne, Killian Clarke; James McEnroe, Alan Clarke (capt), Ronan Flanagan; Damien O'Reilly, David Givney; Cian Mackey, Jack Brady, Feargal Flanagan; Niall McDermott, Martin Dunne, Eugene Keating.

ARMAGH: Philly McEvoy; Paul McKeown, Declan McKenna, Mark Shields; Aaron Kernan, Brendan Donaghy, Ciaran McKeever (capt); James Lavery, Stephen Harold; Caolan Rafferty, Ciaron O'Hanlon, Kevin Dyas; Tony Kernan, Jamie Clarke, Stefan Forker.

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