Manager Barton Announces McKenna Cup Panel

Thursday, 5 January 2017

DESPITE the absence of a number of players who had been regular starters in the past few years Derry manager Damian Barton has still announced a competitive looking 26 man panel for the McKenna Cup, which starts with a home game against Armagh at Owenbeg on Sunday, January 8.
His panel is a mix of youth and experience with a number of players who will most likely figure in the Ulster U21 championship getting the chance to show what they can do at senior level. Among those who have declined the offer to join the panel are Sean Leo McGoldrick, Liam McGoldrick, Niall Holly, Emmett Bradley, Cairan McFaul, Gareth McKindless, Eoghan Brown, and Christopher Bradley. Swatragh's Conor McAtamney will not be available until next May as he is studying in Loughborough University.
There are various reasons who so many have not joined up and that ranges from injuries and work to domestic matters with a number of the absentees getting married in the last year. It seems that the training schedule was something that a number were not prepared to meet but the manager has since rescheduled the training so that it will not be so demanding on time. Dungiven's Kevin Johnston who has had his problems with injury in the last eighteen months may be a possibility in a return to the panel.
The good news is that Danny Heavron has decided to come back to the squad after initially opting out and Mark Lynch, the team's most experienced has recently returned to training. Enda Lynn who missed most of last year due to a broken ankle and Benny Heron who spent the summer in America are both up and running again. It is interesting to see Ballinderry stalwart Conor Nevin being called up.
He has been one of the top defenders in the county for a number of years and had declined the offer to join the panel under several other managers.


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