By Michael McMullan
ANDY McEntee’s Antrim will have the home comforts of Corrigan Park (2pm) on Sunday for the visit of Offaly in weekend of their NFL Division Three campaign.
It’s the Saffrons’ third season at this level in the past decade they otherwise spent in the fourth tier.
The former Meath boss took over after Enda McGinley stepped away from the role at the end of last season.
He has called up goalkeepers Ryan O’Neill (Portglenone) and Ronan Hanna (Aldergrove) to the squad.
Michael Byrne of Rossa started both games so far after playing in the championship last year when Oisin Kerr opted out after the league.
Cargin’s Jamie Gribbin has been joined in the panel by clubmates Pat Shivers and Sean O’Neill, with the latter two in action over the two McKenna Cup games.
James Laverty won’t be involved and it’s unclear if the McCann bothers – Michael and Tomás – will commit.
All three – ever presents last season – and Ricky Johnston would being a wealth of experience to a new-look group.
McEntee, in his first year as boss, used 27 players across their McKenna Cup defeats to Armagh and Cavan of which 11 started both outings.
Paddy McBride, Ryan Murray and Dermot McAleese are an experienced trio still involved, players the Saffron County will rely on in a campaign that includes Ulster derbies against Down (A), Fermanagh (H) and Cavan (H)
This weekend, it’s all about Offaly who were relegated from Division Two last season and are under the management of Liam Kearns.
In the O’Byrne Cup. a goal from Anton Sullivan was the key score in a 1-9 to 0-7 win over Wicklow and Dylan Hyland kicked five points in victory over an experimental Dublin team.
After qualifying for the semi-finals, they conceded their semi-final to Louth, citing that players who were involved with the Sigerson Cup, were ill or injured, and therefore they couldn’t able to field a team without asking players to line out for three games in eight days. It’s a home game and it’s already one the Saffrons will need to pick up a result in.