CHANCE Rory Byrne
AN experimental Mayo football squad is expected to tog out for next Saturday evening’s televised match against the 2019 TG4 ‘Underdogs’ at MacHale Park, Castlebar at 8pm.
Mayo manager James Horan is expected to run the rule over a number of new players who have been called into the county set-up in recent weeks for a series of trial games.
Former Mayo Under-20 captain Ryan O’Donoghue could feature alongside his Belmullet team-mate and former Sligo Rovers and Cork City soccer player Gary Boylan.
Micheál Schlingermann, Mayo’s third-choice goalkeeper last season, is also part of the Mayo squad at the moment, while Castlebar Mitchels’ goalkeeper Rory Byrne has also received a call-up after his recent impressive display against Ballaghaderreen in the Mayo SFC semi-final.
The likes of James Stretton (Claremorris), David Kenny (Aghamore), Liam Irwin (Breaffy), Barry Duffy (Balla) and Jordan Flynn (Crossmolina) could all feature too having been training with the panel recently.
The Underdogs side, who are managed by Mickey Ned O’Sullivan, Kevin Cassidy and Valerie Mulcahy, have been working over the last few months to assemble a panel of players who have never played senior inter-county championship football.
Among them is Mayo Gaels defender Fergal Owens, who has been named on the bench for next weekend’s game. Kerry’s Brendan O’Sullivan, who is named at midfield, also lined out against Mayo in an All-Ireland Junior Final.
The player came to national prominence a number of years ago when he served a 21-week ban for testing positive for methylhexaneamine (MHA) after the Allianz Football League final in 2016.
Preceding the match at 8pm, which will be shown live on GAA Beo on TG4, will be a Mayo GAA ‘Legends’ game involving players who lined out for the county between 1996 and 2006. That game throws-in at 6.30pm.