O'Rourke names seven Monaghan newcomers for McKenna Cup

Monaghan manager Malachy O'Rourke

Monaghan manager Malachy O'Rourke has named seven newcomers to county football in his squad for next month's Dr McKenna Cup.

Those handed their first call-up for the Ulster Champions include Truagh's Paudie McKenna, Clontibret's Conor Boyle and Ballybay's Thomas Kerr.

The other newcomers are Damien Lavelle, Jonathan McGuigan, Shane Carey and Daniel McMahon.

Several senior players are missing the January tournament.

These include the likes of Drew Wylie, Colin Walshe and Kieran Hughes.

Players making a return to the county panel include Shane Smyth and Daniel McKenna.

Monaghan open their McKenna Cup campaign against Derry at Clones on 5 January before taking on St Mary's College at the same venue on 12 January and Fermanagh at Enniskillen three days later.

Fermanagh, meanwhile, will be without Tempo duo Damien Kelly and Daryl Keenan for the McKenna Cup campaign.

Both have told new Erne County boss Peter McGrath that they are unable to commit to the panel because of work commitments.

That follows the decision to goalkeeper Ronan Gallagher to step away from the intercounty scene.

Another experienced keeper Chris Breen has retired from county duty while James Sherry has also ended his Fermanagh career.

Donegal manager Jim McGuinness, meanwhile, has named a strong squad for the McKenna Cup.

McGuinness includes 16 of his 2012 All-Ireland-winning squad.

These include regular starters Paul Durcan, Frank McGlynn, Eamonn McGeen, Neil McGee, Karl Lacey, Anthony Thompson, Leo McLoone, Rory Kavanagh, Neil Gallagher, Michael Murphy and Colm McFadden.

Murphy will once again captain Donegal in 2014.

McGuinness has recalled Ciaran Bonner, Leon Thompson, Antoin McFadden and Thomas McKinley to his panel while Buncrana's Darach O'Connor and Malin's Stephen McLaughlin earn their first senior call-ups.

Donegal will open their McKenna Cup campaign against Tyrone in Letterkenny on 5 January.

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