Limerick unveil new senior hurling panel

Jerome O’Connell

Reporter:

Jerome O’Connell

Declan Hannon will be out of action for most of the league after undergoing an ankle operation
LIMERICK’S senior hurling management have unveiled their new 37-man panel.

LIMERICK’S senior hurling management have unveiled their new 37-man panel.

All of last season’s panel were invited to return to the inter-county scene and a further 11-players have been added to the set-up.

Limerick make their seasonal reappearance this Friday night in the Waterford Crystal Cup.

The first round game against IT Tralee takes place under the floodlights of Mick Neville Park in Rathkeale at 7.30.

Victory for Limerick would book a quarter-final tie the following weekend away to All-Ireland champions, Clare.

Ahead of the competitive start to 2014, the new management have confirmed a 35-man panel.

The panel was selected by joint-managers TJ Ryan and Donal O’Grady as well as selectors Mark Lyons (Kilmallock) and Paul Beary (Na Piarsaigh).

In total there are 19 clubs represented in the panel.

All but three seniors clubs have a player involved with Ahane, Ballybrown and Knockainey without representation.

Junior clubs Feohanagh-Castlemahon and Kilteely-Dromkeen, who will both play in the fourth tier of championship hurling in 2014, have players involved.

Both Na Piarsaigh and Kilmallock have five players each, with Doon having four and both Adare and Murroe-Boher three each.

Twenty six of the players remain from last season with both Niall Moran and Shane O’Neill opting out themselves.

Doon are rewarded for an impressive 2013 with four of the eleven new players.

Three of the new arrivals make the step-up directly from the Munster championship winning minor team - Richie English, Darragh O’Donovan and Darragh Kennedy.

English and O’Donovan join Cathal McNamara and Michael Ryan as the Doon newcomers.

Kilmallock supply two of the new faces with goalkeeper Barry Hennessy and defender Philip O’Loughlin called-in.

The remaining newcomers are Kennedy from Murroe-Boher, who was midfield in the All-Ireland minor semi-final, 2011 Munster U-21 winner Niall Kennedy of Granagh-Ballingarry and Barry Lynch, who impressed in Feohanagh-Castlemahon’s run to the county junior A hurling final.

Also added are Adare’s John Fitzgibbon, who was one of the best on view in the Limerick SHC last season and South Liberties’ William Hickey, who caught the eye in the Fitzgibbon Cup with Mary Immaculate College last season.

On Friday, many of the newcomers are expected to make their debuts with Limerick likely to be without almost a dozen players.

Limerick will be without long-term injured trio Declan Hannon (ankle) and cruciate ligament duo Seamus Hickey and Paudie Aherne - all look set to be absent until the end of the league.

Also absent on Friday will be the five Na Piarsaigh players who are preparing for their All-Ireland club semi-final.

On top of that, Limerick will also be releasing students to play with their colleges in the early season provincial competition.

Limerick haven’t won this early season provincial competition since current manager TJ Ryan captained the county to success in 2006.

Indeed last year’s win over Mary Immaculate was the first win in this competition since 2006.

On Friday, Limerick face the Kerry students, who have never won a game in the competition.

While the Limerick squad are back in training since October they haven’t played any challenge matches.

The National League doesn’t start until the February 15 clash away to Cork.

LIMERICK PANEL: David Breen, Shane Dowling, Kevin Downes, Cathal King, Alan Dempsey (all Na Piarsaigh), Paudie O’Brien, Gavin O’Mahony, Graeme Mulcahy, Barry Hennessy, Philip O’Loughlin (all Kilmallock), Darragh O’Donovan, Richie English, Michael Ryan, Cathal McNamara (all Doon), Seamus Hickey, Seanie Tobin, Darragh Kennedy (all Murroe-Boher), John Fitzgibbon, Wayne McNamara, Declan Hannon (all Adare) Nickie Quaid and Thomas Quaid (both Effin), Donal O’Grady and Niall Kennedy (both Granagh-Ballingarry), William Hickey and Tom Ryan (both South Liberties), Stephen Walsh (Glenroe), Richie McCarthy (Blackrock), Tom Condon (Knockaderry), Paul Browne (Bruff), James Ryan (Garryspillane), Aaron Murphy (Hospital-Herbertstown), Mark Carmody (Patrickswell), Conor Allis (Croom), Paudie Aherne (Kilteely-Dromkeen), David Reidy (Dromin-Athlacca), Barry Lynch (Feohanagh-Castlemahon).