Harte names five debutants in first Derry team

By Michael McMullan

NEW Derry manager Mickey Harte has given five debuts ahead of Wednesday’s Dr McKenna Cup opener with Cavan in Kingspan Breffni (7.30pm).

Last year’s All-Ireland u-20 hurling captain Jack Cassidy is handed the number one jersey.

Patrick McGurk, Diarmuid Baker, Ruairi Forbes and Donncha Gilmore also set for a first senior appearance.

Conor McGrogan, an Ulster minor winner in 2015, makes a return for a first game since the 5-15 to 2-15 defeat to Galway in Tuam under Damian Barton in 2017.

FIRST ACTION…Steelstown All-Ireland winner Diarmuid Baker will start on Wednesday night in Cavan

Dan Higgins will make his first start after a substitute appearance in against Monaghan in the McKenna Cup opener two seasons ago.

Three other players yet to make their debut, Cahir McMonagle, Cormac Murphy and Ryan McNicholl, have been named on the bench.

Six of the team that started last summer’s All-Ireland semi-final defeat have been selected with Newbridge’s Conor Doherty set to make his 70th senior appearance.

Sleacht Néill trio Brendan Rogers, Shane McGuigan and Chrissy McKaigue have also been listed on the squad.

Derry face a Cavan team who are also under new management with Raymond Galligan taking over from Mickey Graham.

Derry (v Cavan): Jack Cassidy; Diarmuid Baker, Eoin McEvoy, Conor McGrogan; Conor Doherty, Paudi McGrogan, Patrick McGurk; Dan Higgins, Donncha Gilmore; Ruairi Forbes, Declan Cassidy, Paul Cassidy; Ben McCarron, Niall Loughlin, Niall Toner
Subs: Ryan Scullion, Cahir McMonagle, Shane McGuigan, Chrissy McKaigue, Brendan Rogers, Mark Doherty, Cormac Murphy, Ryan McNicholl


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