Derry manager Brian McIver puts emphasis on youth for McKenna

Brian McIver
Derry manager Brian McIver

Derry manager Brian McIver has named a youthful looking 26-man squad for next month's McKenna Cup campaign.

The Ballinderry man's panel includes 10 newcomers, three of whom played minor football last year.

The sweeping changes mean that 11 players who were panellists last year are no longer in training, including Barry Gillis and Joe Diver.

The new Derry boss will be able to call on a number of players, who have not been named in his McKenna squad.

Chrissy McKaigue, Michael Friel and Ciaran Mullan are still part of McIver's plans while Mark Craig and Gerard O'Kane injured.

McIver started trials in October and his new inclusions are Eoin McNicholl, Declan Brown, Micheal Anderson, Philip Bradley, Conor McAtamney, Ryan Bell, Lee Kennedy, Joe Morgan, Thomas Mallon and Gavin Mallon.

There have been recalls for Raymond Wilkinson, Colin Devlin and Aidan McAlynn.

Wilkinson and Devlin were important figures in the Ballinderry side which retained the Derry county title.

The squad is bolstered by a backbone of regular, experienced players such as Patsy Bradley, Leo McGoldrick, Eoin Bradley, Dermot McBride, Charlie Kielt and Barry McGoldrick.

Meanwhile Down's initial list of players for the competition includes just 20 names, with manager James McCartan explaining that there are 12 or 14 people vying for the remaining positions.

Cavan boss Terry Hyland has included experienced duo Cian Mackey and Mark McKeever but young guns Gearoid McKiernan, Eugene Keating and Kevin Tierney are also named.