Antrim dealt defensive blow ahead of championship opener

By Michael McMullan

ANTRIM have been dealt a blow ahead of this weekend’s Ulster Senior Championship opener with Cavan with the news of Ricky Johnston’s decision to opt out of the panel, Gaelic Life can reveal.

Having already lost goalkeeper – and fellow Creggan player – Oisin Kerr to the USA, the loss of Johnston will force manager Enda McGinley into a reshuffle.

Selector Sean Kelly confirmed Johnston had left the panel and the management team have focused on moving on with the players at their disposal.

“We have had a quality squad since the start of the year, so we have plenty of able replacements,” Kelly told Gaelic Life, while pointing out that Seamus McGarry (hamstring injury) is the only player ruled out of the squad.

Johnson started all nine games at full back so far this season and was a rock at the heart of Creggan’s championship winning season in 2021.

It’s understood Johnston is pondering over a decision to play football in the US and won’t be part of the Saffrons’ plans for the championship.

Saturday’s game in Corrigan Park is a repeat of the 2020 meeting of the counties won by Cavan (0-13 to 0-9) on the way to collecting the Anglo Celt Cup.

With the loss of Oisin Kerr and fellow goalkeeper Luke Mulholland, the Saffron management have drafted in former ‘keeper Chris Kerr, with Rossa’s Michael Byrne the only other goalkeeper in the panel.
READ MORE – Jack Doherty opts out of the Derry panel. Click here…

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