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9 GAA players who were glad to be back as the 2015 season started this weekend

It was a big day yesterday for the likes of Mark McHugh, Gary Sice, Cathal McCarron and Michael Cussen.

1. Mark McHugh (Donegal)

After missing last year’s championship, McHugh returned to the fold when the Donegal Dr McKenna Cup squad was named just before Christmas. Yesterday he lined out at centre-back in Owenbeg as Donegal lost out to Derry in their opening game of the season.

Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

2. Gary Sice (Galway)

Sice was one of the star turns for Corofin when they won the AIB Connacht senior club football title back in November and that form lead to a recall for the 30 year-old by new Galway manager Kevin Walsh. Sice was left out of the Galway championship squad last summer after dropping out of the panel during the league. Yesterday he played for the Tribesmen against Sligo in Enniscrone.

Source: Mike Shaughnessy/INPHO

3. Cathal McCarron (Tyrone)

The 2013 Allstar nominee was back in action for Tyrone yesterday after missing last season. Dromore club man McCarron lined out for London during the 2014 campaign but returned to play for his native county in the Dr McKenna Cup against Armagh yesterday.

Source: Presseye/Russell Pritchard/INPHO

4. Patrick Hurney, 5. Gavin Nugent, 6. Joey Veale (Waterford)

The Deise attacking trio were all absent last year but they returned to action in style yesterday in Carriganore. They formed the full-forward line that struck 1-10 – Hurney 1-3, Whyte 0-4 and Nugent 0-3 – as Waterford defeated UL in their McGrath Cup opener.

Patrick Hurney Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

7. Michael Cussen (Cork)

He’s been better known for his hurling exploits in recent years with his club Sarsfields and for Cork but yesterday Cussen was in football action at midfield for the Rebels in the McGrath Cup against Mary Immaculate College. It was Cussen’s first football game for Cork since the 2009 All-Ireland senior final.

Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

8. Evan Regan (Mayo)

The Ballina Stephenites forward was only part of the U21 side last year but he lined out for the senior team yesterday and weighed in with 0-3 as Mayo overcame NUI Galway.

Evan Regan and Alan Freeman with Lee Cullen Evan Regan (number 13) in action for Mayo yesterday Source: James Crombie/INPHO

9. Diarmuid Masterson (Longford)

Longford may have lost out to DCU on Saturday in the O’Byrne Cup but the performance of Masterson at centre-back was a positive they could take from the game. It was Masterson’s first game for the county in almost two seasons after a stint in Australia.

Diarmuid Masterson with Conor Meredith Diarmuid Masterson (left) in action against DCU. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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