CORK footballers name their team tonight to play Kildare in their second game in Division 2 at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Sunday at 1pm.
Three players who didn’t figure in the 1-5 to 0-8 draw away to Fermanagh last week are expected to come into the reckoning.
Mark Collins sat out a one-match ban held over from last season following his dismissal in the round 4 qualifying defeat by Tyrone.
Former skipper Paul Kerrigan has only returned from his honeymoon and is improving his fitness levels while Clonakilty’s Tom Clancy, who was named in the team but picked up an injury in training and had to cry off, is also in the mix.
Kildare, who were relegated along with Donegal from division 1 at the end of last season, also drew their opening game at home to Armagh.
While Cork were left frustrated by the concession of a last-minute equalising point, Kildare savoured the opposite experience after Jimmy Hyland denied the Ulster county with a late point in a 0-14 to 1-11 share of the spoils.
Meanwhile, Jim Gavin, manager of double champions, Dublin, made some interesting observations about Coke Park’s handling of the new experimental rules and the changes themselves in the wake of his side’s goal defeat by Monaghan in Clones.
Gavin’s utterances are rare enough apart from match days, but, invariably, he has some interesting things to say and stokes the fires, too. This occasion was no different.
The capital’s boss was critical of the apparent lack of direction in which the authorities want the much-criticised game to go.
And he also hit out at some fellow inter-county managers for going public in their opposition to the rule changes.
Gavin said he was frustrated at them being only applied to the league and not the entire season, including the championship.
But, he praised the rules committee for the time and effort put in to try and make the game better, though with an addendum.
“There hasn’t been from them or the leadership of the GAA of a clear vision of where they want the game to be.
“Until we understand what that is we’ll get what’s going on at the moment. There is a lot of action without a vision and that’s a little bit of a nightmare,” Gavin commented.
Readers will find it somewhat amusing and more than a touch contradictory about his views on the proliferation of hand-passes in the modern game.
“To put a definite or a limitation on the hand-pass because there are too many in the game doesn’t explain why teams are hand-passing more than they did in the past.
“So, until we get the why from the GAA chiefs, there’ll still be confusion and a bit of frustration from some quarters,” he said.
As for managers going public, Gavin countered by saying: “From Dublin’s perspective, I articulated my thoughts to the county board. I don’t believe managers should have a soap box to comment on them, rightly or wrongly.
“It’s up to our own boards to make representations on behalf of the county, not on behalf of one particular team,” Gavin declared.
NFL Division 1: Dublin v Galway, Croke Park, 7pm (C Brannagan).
Division 2: Donegal v Meath, Ballybofey, 7pm (J Henry).
Division 3: Westmeath v Carlow, Mullingar, 3pm (L Devenney); Laois v Louth, Portlaoise, 3pm (B Tiernan).
NHL Division 1A: Limerick v Tipperary, Gaelic Grounds, 7pm (S Cleere).
Division 2B: Kildare v Warwickshire, Newbridge, 1.30 (N Wall).
NFL Division 1: Cavan v Kerry, Breffni Park, 2pm (F Kelly); Roscommon v Monaghan, Dr Hyde Park, 2.30 (S Hurson); Tyrone v Mayo, Omagh, 2.30 (J McQuillan).
Division 2: Cork v Kildare, Páirc Uí Chaoimh, 1pm (S Lonergan); Armagh v Clare, Newry, 2pm (C Reilly); Tipperary v Fermanagh, Semple Stadium, 2pm (R Hickey).
Division 3: Sligo v Down, Collooney, 2pm (P Hughes); Longford v Offaly, Pearse Park, 2pm (E O’Grady).
Division 4: Derry v London, Owenbeg, 12.30 (S Laverty); Limerick v Waterford, Newcastlewest, 2pm (J Hickey); Wexford v Antrim, Wexford Park, 2pm (A Kissane); Wicklow v Leitrim, Aughrim, 2.30 (N McKenna).
NHL Division 1A: Clare v Kilkenny, Ennis, 2pm (P O’Dwyer); Cork v Wexford, Páirc Uí Chaoimh, 3pm (J Murphy).
Division 1B: Laois v Waterford, Portlaoise, 2pm (C Cunning); Carlow v Galway, Cullen Park, 2pm (C McAllister); Offaly v Dublin, O’Connor Park, 2pm (J Keenan).
Division 2A: London v Mayo, Ruislip, 12.30 (S Stack); Kerry v Westmeath, Tralee, 2pm (R McGann); Meath v Antrim, Navan, 2pm (J Ryan).