Captain Johnny Buckley will make his first appearance of the season for Kerry in tomorrow’s All-Ireland SFC quarter-final clash with Galway at Croke Park.
The Dr. Crokes All-Ireland club winner has been handed a start by manager Éamonn Fitzmaurice for the clash with the Tribesmen at GAA HQ.
Buckley, named at centre forward, replaces the injured Kevin McCarthy, while Jack Barry is named ahead of Anthony Maher at midfield, as Fitzmaurice opts for two changes in personnel from the team that defeated Cork in the Munster final.
Rathmore’s Shane Ryan is Kerry’s new substitute goalkeeper, after Brendan Kealy recently quit the squad, while Jack Savage returns from illness to make the bench, with Brian Ó Beaglaoich also named in the match-day panel. Galway are expected to delay their team announcement until shortly before throw-in.
Meanwhile, Armagh manager Kieran McGeeney has made two changes for the round 4B qualifier clash with his former charges Kildare at Croke Park. Ethan Rafferty and Anthony Duffy are named in attack, with Gregory McCabe and Ciaran O’Hanlon dropping out of the team that started against Tipperary.
Stefan Campbell, who has been impressing in cameo roles off the bench, has to be content with a substitute’s role again.
Kildare have been forced into one change, with captain Eoin Doyle ruled out with a broken thumb. Peter Kelly, who replaced Doyle in the Leinster final defeat to Dublin during the second half, earns a start for the Lilywhites.
And Down are unchanged from their Ulster final loss to Tyrone, for this evening’s round 4B qualifier with Monaghan at Croke Park.
Elsewhere, the Gaelic Players Association has welcomed the approval of suggested tweaks to the hurling championship structures for next year. A new proposal includes provision for a six-team Leinster round-robin series, with Laois, Westmeath, Kerry, Carlow, Antrim and Meath included.
A GPA statement indicated that the body will continue to engage with GAA chiefs on some key matters, including the extension from five to potentially nine weeks to run off Christy Ring, Nicky Rackard and Lory Meagher competitions. The GPA would also like to see the Lory Meagher Cup final played as part of a double-header alongside a final round-robin game in the Leinster or Munster championship.
And it has also been proposed that the Ring and Rackard finals be played as a double-header, preferably before the Munster or Leinster senior finals, or ahead of the All-Ireland quarter-finals.
A suggestion that two teams from the tier 2 Leinster round-robin series would progress to the play the third-placed teams from the Leinster and Munster tier 1 groups was not included in the new blueprint, but the GPA will consider “pursuing this particular matter further.”
Armagh (SF v Kildare):
B Hughes; J Morgan, C Vernon, P Hughes; M Shields, B Donaghy, A Forker; S Sheridan, N Grimley; E Rafferty, A Duffy, R Grugan; J Clarke, A Murnin, G McParland.
M Donnellan; M O’Grady, D Hyland, O Lyons; P Kelly, J Byrne, K Cribbin; K Feely, T Moolick; F Conway, N Kelly, D Slattery; P Brophy, D Flynn, C McNally.
Down (SF v Monaghan):
M Cunningham; N McParland; G McGovern, D O’Hagan; D O’Hanlon, C McGovern, C Mooney; P Turley, N Donnelly; K McKernan, C Maginn, S Millar; J Johnston, C Harrison, R Johnston.
Kerry (SF v Galway):
B Kelly; F Fitzgerald, M Griffin, S Enright; P Crowley, T Morley, P Murphy; D Moran, J Barry; M Geaney, J Buckley, D Walsh; P Geaney, K Donaghy, J O’Donoghue.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved