THE RETURN FROM injury of experienced duo Ger Cafferkey and Jason Gibbons along with the addition of All-Ireland U21 and Castlebar Mitchels club winners, are key features of the additions to the Mayo senior squad ahead of the start of their 2017 campaign.
Mayo are in action next Sunday for their seasonal opener in the FBD League against NUI Galway.
Defender Cafferkey and midfielder Gibbons have been added to the squad after missing Mayo’s run to the All-Ireland final last season due to injury.
Cafferkey was struck down with a hamstring injury before last summer’s championship started while Gibbons dislocated his shoulder in the Connacht semi-final loss to Galway.
The majority of Mayo’s squad depart to South Africa on a team holiday this week which allows fringe players the chance to impress. Club commitments rule out players like Westport pair Lee Keegan and Kevin Keane this month, while college commitments and injuries mean others are absent.
The new prospects that are brought in are largely from last April’s Mayo All-Ireland U21 winning team and the Castlebar Mitchels side that in 2015 contested the All-Ireland club final and won the Mayo county senior decider.
Defender David Kenny and the attacking trio of Fergal Boland, Liam Irwin and Michael Plunkett are all from that U21 outfit.
Irwin scored 2-2 in last year’s final win over Cork while Plunkett notched 0-2.
While goalkeeper Rory Byrne, corner-back Donie Newcombe and forward Neil Douglas are the Castlebar Mitchels players brought on board.
Douglas shot the lights out for Castlebar Mitchels at times last season with a 1-6 return in October’s county final success against Knockmore and 0-10 in their Connacht semi-final defeat in November to eventual provincial champions Corofin.
Currently no one from last year’s Mayo panel has departed but the squad is set to be reviewed at the close of the FBD League in January.
Here’s the new Mayo additions:
- David Kenny (Aghamore)
- Fergal Boland (Aghamore)
- Ger Cafferkey (Ballina Stephenites)
- Jason Gibbons (Ballintubber)
- Michael Plunkett (Ballintubber)
- Liam Irwin (Breaffy)
- Neil Douglas (Castlebar Mitchels)
- Rory Byrne (Castlebar Mitchels)
- Donie Newcombe (Castlebar Mitchels)
- Gareth O’Donnell (Charlestown)
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