All-Star defender Liam Silke will not be available for Galway this season, manager Pádraic Joyce has confirmed.
The Corofin man is to remain in New Zealand for the year where is working as a doctor. Fellow clubman Kieran Molloy, who also started last year’s All-Ireland final, is sidelined with a cruciate injury.
“The only one who won’t be committing is Liam Silke,” Joyce told the Tuam Herald ahead of Saturday’s Allianz Division 1 opener against Mayo in Castlebar.
“It looks like he is going to be saying in New Zealand for the year, so we won’t be having him which is a big loss to us.
“I know Mayo lost a few players, but I think Liam Silke and Kieran Molloy are a bigger loss to us. I don’t think people understand or realise the importance of Molloy last year for us. He can play anywhere and he’s a big, big loss to is. In fairness to Kieran, he’s working extremely hard. Knowing him, he’ll probably defy logic and be back quicker than he should be.”
Meanwhile, Limerick will once again be co-captained by goalkeeper Donal O’Sullivan and Iain Corbett, who is named in midfield for Saturday’s Division 2 trip to Owenbeg alongside his Newcastle West club-mate and fellow 2022 All-Star nominee Cian Sheehan.
New manager Ray Dempsey includes eight of the team that started last year’s final round qualifier defeat to Cork with another four from that team named on the bench.
LIMERICK (AFL v Derry): D. O’Sullivan, D. Connelly, S. O’Dea, B. Coleman; B. Fanning, C. Fahy, M. Donovan; C. Sheehan, I. Corbett; P. Maher, J. Naughton, G. Browne; A. Enright, C. Downes, D. Lyons. Subs: A. O’Sullivan, J. Liston, T. McCarthy, J. Molyneaux, C. McSweeney, E. O’Shea, T. Griffin, K. Ryan, H. Bourke, R. Bourke, P. Nash.
SLIGO (panel, AFL v Laois): S. Carrabine, D. Conlon, M. Connolly-McGowan, D. Cummins, O. Flynn, K. Gavigan, C. Griffin, P. Kilcoyne, C. Lally, J. Lavin, D. Lyons, E. Lyons, E. McGuinness, P. McNamara, N. Mullen, N. Murphy (c), L. Nicholson, P. O’Connor, G. O’Kelly-Lynch, D. Philips, D. Quinn, A. Reilly, P. Spillane, J. Teape, L. Towey, M. Walsh.