Antrim set to be without influential quartet against Erne County

Kevin Niblock
Kevin Niblock looks unlikely to feature for Antrim against Fermanagh on 31 May

Antrim look likely to be minus several of their best players in their Ulster Football Championship opener against Fermanagh on 31 May.

The McCann brothers Tomas and Michael remain unavailable after opting out during the League while Kevin Niblock and Brian Neeson are also missing.

Niblock missed the entire League while Neeson has been concentrating on his soccer role with Carrick Rangers.

Neeson and Niblock hit a combined 2-9 in the 2014 Ulster win over Fermanagh.

Manager Frank Fitzsimons says he has not picked up the phone to contact either Niblock or Neeson in recent weeks although he has not ruled out the possibility of them making a return to the squad.

"They are not with us and our squad is more or less settled now," said Fitzsimons.

"But you never say never and who knows what will happen before then."

Fitzsimons added he would be the "happiest man in Ireland" if he could persuade the Cargin McCann brothers to return to the fold ahead of the trip to Brewster Park.

Kieran McGourty is back in the panel after a seven-year absence.