Armagh include four rookies in team for Cavan test

Armagh debutant Ciaron O'Hanlon

Ciaron O'Hanlon will start his first senior game for Armagh in Sunday's Ulster SFC opening tie against Cavan.

The 18-year-old was called up to the senior squad by Paul Grimley after starring for St Paul's Bessbrook during their run to the MacRory Cup final.

Grimley has opted for youth, naming four championship debutants.

Defenders Mark Shields and Paul McKeown plus midfielder Stephen Harold join O'Hanlon as the rookies in the team for the trip to Breffni Park.

Kieran Toner, Charlie Vernon, James Morgan, Niall McConville, Sean Clarke, John Kingham and Aiden Forker are unavailable due to injury.

Mark Shields is one of four debutants for Armagh
Mark Shields is one of four debutants for Armagh

The selection of O'Hanlon at centre-forward is possibly the biggest surprise, given the Killeavy teenager has never played for the county senior team before.

O'Hanlon, who kicked 0-5 from play in the defeat to Tyrone in last year's Ulster minor championship, has impressed in training since his call-up by manager Paul Grimley.

Jamie Clarke starts at full-forward in a potent attack.

Armagh assistant manager Brendan Hughes told Armagh TV: "at the start of the year when we came together we looked for a new team and we looked for a young, fast and exciting team".

"We feel this team going out on Sunday has all of the attributes that we were looking for in the group.

"In addition to the seven unavailable there is obviously other players of quality ready to come into action. We are happy with team we have picked.

"The players are going well in training and the players are picked on form.

"We are going to Cavan full of confidence."

Armagh: Philip McEvoy, Paul McKeown, Declan McKenna, Mark Shields, Aaron Kernan, Brendan Donaghy, Ciaran McKeever, James Lavery, Stephen Harold, Caolan Rafferty, Ciaran O'Hanlon, Kevin Dyas, Tony Kernan, Jamie Clarke, Stefan Forker

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