Derry’s Gareth McKinless not to be involved against Wexford

Ballinderry defender is believed to be spending the weekend abroad

Derry will not include Gareth McKinless in their 26 man squad for Wexford trip. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Derry will not include Gareth McKinless in their 26 man squad for Wexford trip. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

 

Derry defender Gareth McKinless will not be named in Derry’s 26 man panel for Saturday’s qualifier game with Wexford.

The Ballinderry defender rejoined Brian McIver’s panel last month after having his 48-week suspension, picked up following disturbances at last year’s Derry county football final, halved.

McKinless did not feature in the Ulster semi-final against Donegal, but with Kevin Johnston sustaining knee ligament damage in that defeat, the man who started in both of Derry’s championship games last summer was expected to step in.

Yet with less than a month’s training behind him, the Derry set-up have decided against including him in their match-day panel, an omission which may have been influenced by the player’s own decision to travel abroad this weekend. It’s unclear which decision was made first.

Nonetheless McKinless remains a part of McIver’s plans this summer, and if Derry can get past Wexford he is expected to come back into contention for a round 3B qualifier.

The Derry starting fifteen for Saturday’s game at Owenbeg is expected to be announced on Friday night.

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