By Michael McMullan
NEW Monaghan manager Vinny Corey will be without another member of his squad after Ryan McAnespie confirmed he will spend a year on his travels.
It comes after the news of experienced duo Drew Wylie and Colin Walshe retiring from inter-county football.
McAnespie headed to Australia in October after Emyvale’s intermediate championship semi-final defeat at the hands of Magheracloone.
There are no plans to transfer to a club in Australia, but he may then opt for a summer in America.
Tyrone player Ben McDonnell, a housemate of McAnespie at college, has also made the move to Sydney after helping Errigal Ciaran land the O’ Neill Cup.
McAnespie played in all but two of Monaghan’s games last season and posted 0-3 from his role at wing back. He was centre back on the Farney Ulster minor winning team after initial chatter that he’d opt for Tyrone, having attended St Ciaran’s Ballygawley.
Two years later, he kicked a point on his senior league debut for Monaghan – a start under Malachy O’Rourke, in a 1-13 to 0-9 win over Tyrone at Healy Park and came on as a second half in their Ulster final win over Donegal later that summer.
McAnespie’s former team mate Corey took over as manager after Seamus McEnaney stepped down and was handed a three-year term.
His first game saw Monaghan on the wrong end of a 2-10 to 0-12 scoreline in their 2023 opener against Down in the McKenna Cup and take on Donegal in their final group game on Wednesday night in Ballybofey.
He will be boosted with the news that star attacker Conor McManus remains in the fold as they aim to maintain the county’s proud record of nine consecutive seasons in Division One.
Jack McCarron put the Dubs to the sword and into Division Two on the last day of the 2022 league season.
Monaghan begin their league with a tasty away game against neighbours Armagh on Saturday, January 28.