Carr poised to introduce new blood


Dublin's football manager, Tommy Carr, has made up his mind on the composition of his senior panel ahead of a return to serious training next Tuesday.

With the All-Ireland final yet to be played, Carr is surprised at the amount of inquiries about the new National Football League campaign.

But rumours are rife that the Dublin boss will be scrapping the services of the older guard.

Carr confirmed yesterday that a number of them will not be figuring in his plans, but he intends to let the old soldiers down lightly. "Players will be dropped off the panel. I know who they are and I will be telling them by the weekend. Nothing is conclusive, however, the door will not be closed for good on anyone."

It would seem, though, that Dublin fans have seen the last of the vertebra of the All-Ireland winning team of 1995, namely the half-back line of Paul Curran, Keith Barr and Mick Deegan.

All three remain available, although Deegan has signed on with Crusaders for the new soccer season.

My information is that only half a dozen at most of the All-Ireland winning team of three seasons ago will be included when Carr's team launches its bid in probably section B of Division One of the new League series.

The Dublin manager has been working with an interim panel, largely consisting of former minors and under-21 players, for a month now since the defeat by Kildare in the Leinster championship semi-final in July. "There will be new faces," confirmed Carr yesterday.

Football takes a back seat as far as next weekend is concerned with various hurling competitions poised for the closing stages.

On Saturday, the All-Ireland junior hurling final will see Monaghan and Meath battle it out at Drogheda. The standard of play by all accounts has been high at this level all season.

Carlow and Meath will be competing in the All-Ireland minor "B" hurling final at Tullamore also on Saturday.

Cork travel to Parnell Park to take on Antrim in the under-21 semi-final in what should be a runaway win for the Munster champions. The second part of the bill sees Limerick return to the All-Ireland fold, this time in the intermediate semi-final against Down. The other semi-final between Kilkenny and Galway is listed for Tullamore.

Kilkenny manager Kevin Fennelly has told county sponsors Avonmore Waterford that he won't spend the £10,000 on offer for a team holiday unless the Leinster champions win the All-Ireland final.

The sponsorship - in addition to £25,000 from championship sponsors Guinness - was announced after training on Monday night by Brendan Graham, secretary of the sponsors. "If we lose, I won't use the money," said Fennelly. "We're not going on holidays as losers."