Padraig O’Neill returns to Kildare midfield for qualifier clash with Louth
Wexford name unchanged side for trip to Longford
Meath’s Graham Reilly has been in flying form this season and will have to be watched by Dublin in the Leinster final. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho.
Padraig O’Neill returns to the Kildare midfield to face Louth instead of Seán Hurley as Kieran McGeeney otherwise keeps faith in the side that was destroyed by Dublin in the Leinster football semi-final.
As Kildare know all too well knowing what’s coming doesn’t mean it can be stopped. With minimal changes expected for the finalists, the Meath and Dublin teams are due to be released this morning.
“Meath have probably had as good a record against Dublin as any team has in the last couple of years,” said Kildare’s wing forward Eoghan O’Flaherty, having witnessed the Dublin blitz attack at close quarters on June 30th. “They certainly don’t seem to have any fear going in to play Dublin.
“Meath have some very good pacy forwards; Graham Reilly there seems to be flying at the moment, Mickey Newman I know from Maynooth as well. He’s probably a player people haven’t come across until this year. He’s very talented.
“[Eamonn] Wallace as well, a sprinter, so I don’t think any corner back would like facing him with the speed he has.
“Stephen Bray, I am fairly sure he was an All Star a couple of years ago, he’s still well able to perform; I think it’s going to be a good final.
“Dublin will certainly be favourites going into it but I think Meath now will definitely give them a good fight.”
Kildare have their own challenges, as they must find a way past Louth and former trainer Aidan O’Rourke in Newbridge tomorrow.
“Aidan is a very good manager, very tactically astute; a good knowledge of football,” O’Flaherty continues. “I’m sure he’ll have his own plans for what he can do against us. I don’t think it’s going to have an awful bearing on the game.
“We’ve played Louth the last couple of years so we’d know their kind of players as well before Aidan was involved. I’m sure himself and Kieran would be good friends so that might bring a bit of something to it.”
Meanwhile, Wexford manager Aidan O’Brien has stuck with the side that lost the Leinster semi-final to Meath for tomorrow’s qualifier in Longford.
WEXFORD (SFC v Longford): A Masterson; M Furlong, G Molloy, R Tierney; B Malone, D Murphy, A Flynn; D Waters, R Quinlivan; S Roche, B Brosnan, A Doyle; C Lyng, R Barry, PJ Banville.
KILDARE (SFC v Louth): S Connolly; D Hyland, M Foley, H McGrillen; E Callaghan (capt), P Kelly, E Bolton; D Flynn, P O’Neill; P Cribbin, N Kelly, E O’Flaherty; J Doyle, D Flynn, P Brophy.