Monaghan’s Kieran Hughes fit to face Kildare in football qualifier

Owen Lennon and Gavin Doogan likely to miss Saturday’s clash at Croke Park

Monaghan look to be the county travelling to Croke Park with the most pressing injury concerns this weekend as Owen Lennon and Gavin Doogan look unlikely to feature against Kildare.

However, full forward Kieran Hughes has made a sufficient recovery from a knee injury. "He was struggling from the Tyrone game and getting 70 minutes under his belt against Donegal has pushed him on," said elder brother Darren Hughes. "He's not 100 per cent but there's 70 minutes in him now and he knows that.

“Owen Lennon isn’t back training yet and Gavin Doogan’s still struggling with a foot injury he picked up in a club game in April.”

Despite the injury concerns this looks to be Monaghan’s best opportunity to end a 84-year wait for a championship victory at GAA headquarters. Their opposition in 1930 was also Kildare.


"We're not struggling with injuries, we have a good panel and we have confidence in every player on the panel, but we are missing big players in big positions," Hughes added.

Meanwhile, Meath captain Kevin Reilly has recovered from a knee injury and should start at fullback against Armagh in the first qualifier game on Saturday. "The knee is fine," he said yesterday. "I did a partial tear in both my medial and lateral ligament in the Kildare match. That's why I went off. Luckily we had three weeks to recover."

Brian McMahon and Mickey Newman have also return to full training.


Kerry manager Éamonn Fitzmaurice is also expected to name his strongest possible side, with the exception of

Colm Cooper

, for Sunday’s All-Ireland quarter-final against Galway. “It [the injury situation] has been quite good,” said Fitzmaurice. “There are only two fellas struggling.

Jack Sherwood

has a hamstring injury and Daithí Casey has a knee injury. Neither is likely to be featuring next weekend but otherwise we have everyone.”

Roscommon officials have told football manager John Evans they want him to stay in charge and build on the progress he has made in the past two years. The Kerry man's term came to an end when they were knocked out of the championship by Armagh last Saturday week in the All-Ireland qualifiers.

“The progress of the senior team will be discussed at next month’s meeting of the management committee and the board are hopeful John Evans will remain in charge,” said a spokesperson.

Gavin Cummiskey

Gavin Cummiskey

Gavin Cummiskey is The Irish Times' Soccer Correspondent