Brian McIver has included two stars of Ulster colleges football in his Derry side for this afternoon’s opening Power NI Dr McKenna Cup game against reigning Ulster champions Monaghan.
Peter Cassidy and James Kearney, who were pivotal in St Patrick’s Maghera’s Hogan Cup success, are named in the line-up for the Section B clash to be played in Clones (throw-in 2.00pm).
The game sees the return to inter-county football of Bellaghy’s Fergal Doherty who will partner Sean Leo McGoldrick (Eoghan Rua, Coleraine) in midfield.
Eoin Bradley and Ryan Bell are among those missing but a reasonably experienced line-up includes Mark Lynch, James Kielt, Enda Lynn, Emmett McGuckin and Benny Heron.
Kilrea’s James Kielt will captain the team.
After today’s game, Derry host Fermanagh at Owenbeg next Sunday with the final Section B clash with St Mary’s taking place at the same venue 15 January.
The semi-finals will be played on Sunday 19 January with the final pencilled in for the following Saturday 25 January.
Derry team for this afternoon’s clash: Thomas Mallon (An Lúb); Declan Brown (Baile Eachaidh), Oisin Duffy (Forghleann) , Michael McShane (Baile na Scrine); Conor McAtamney (Suaitreach), Mark Craig (Dún Geimhin); Sean Leo McGoldrick (Eoghan Rua) , Fergal Doherty (Baile Eachaidh) ; Mark Lynch (Beannchar), Ciaran McFaul (Gleann), James Kielt (Cill Ria), captain; Enda Lynn (Grainlocha), Declan Mullan (Eoghan Rua) , Emmett McGuckin (Machaire Fíolta) , Benny Heron (Baile na Scríne).
Substitutes: Eoin McNicholl (Gleann an Iolair), Dermot McBride (Baile na Scrine), Aidan McAlynn (An Lúb), Charlie Kielt (Cill Ria) ,.Carlus McWilliams (Baile na Scrine, Peter Cassidy (Baile Eachaidh) ,. Niall Holly (Eoghan Rua), James Kearney (Suaitreach), Aaron Kerrigan (Clóidigh) ,. Ciaran McGoldrick (Eoghan Rua) and Anthony O’Neill (An Lúb).