The race for Sam Maguire kicks off this weekend with Sligo travelling across the Atlantic to take on New York in the Connacht SFC opener.
New York will be carrying a couple of surprise packages in their arsenal coming into the clash.
Former Dublin hurling ace Danny Sutcliffe will line out for the stateside outfit on Sunday. The 2013 All-Star has been included in Justin O’Halloran’s match day squad for the game against the Yeats county, having appeared in a recent challenge match against Donegal.
Sutcliffe was on the Dublin minor football team that won a Leinster championship in 2009. Having walked away from Ger Cunningham’s senior hurling side in 2015, we have not seen him in inter-county action since. The St Jude’s clubman quit the capital’s hurling panel to reportedly focus on his studies, but is yet to show any indication as to when he will return for his county.
Ex-Mayo defender Tom Cunniffe will also play for the Exiles on Sunday. The five-time Connacht SFC medallist left Stephen Rochford’s side in 2013 to travel and has since joined up with the New York camp, proving a massive addition to their defence.
New York have never won a senior football championship match but came within only a point of Roscommon last year. They will be seeking to build on last year’s performance and cause a major upset this weekend.
New York panel vs. Sligo in full
Vinny Caden, Tom Cunniffe, David Cunnane, Shane Hogan, Peter Withlowe, Brain Gallaher, David Culhane, Paddy Boyle, Conor McGraynor, Daniel Mckenna, Gerard McCartan (captain), Shane O’Connor, Keith Quinn, Danny Sutcliffe, Jer O’Sullivan, Eoin Flanagan, Paul Lambe, Keith Scally, Tony Donnelly, Kevin Connelly, David Freeman, Stephen Doake, Ronan McGinley, Conor Farrell, Paul McGinley, Colin Keane, Ross Wherity, Eoin Ward, Eugene McVerry, Nial McFeeley.
Hat-tip to RTÉ.