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The Irish News Archive: July 21 1998: Tommy McCallion set for Cliftonville debut start in European Champions League tie against Kosice

MAIN MEN...Offaly’s Brian Whelehan and Dunloy star Allister Elliot (left) are two men who will contribute highly to their respective county's challenge for the All-Ireland hurling championship
The Irish News Archive

TOMMY McCallion is to make his competitive debut for Cliftonville in the European Champions’ League qualifying tie against Kosice tomorrow evening at Solitude.

The former Coleraine midfielder, signed in the close season by the Premier League champions, is expected to be named in a five-man midfield as Cliftonville boss Marty Quinn aims to unsettle the Slovakian champions while defending against any early threat on goal.

With five personnel in midfield, 22-yearold McCallion is likely to be the only new signing to start the club’s first European campaign for almost 20 years.

With 17-year-old keeper Michael Ingram, a late signing last season, and former Larne midfielder Larry McMahon the only other additions to the championship-winning squad, Quinn is reportedly ready to name a side almost identical to that which concluded last season with the championship clinching 1-1 draw with Glentoran at Solitude.

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FEARS that Derry wing-back David O’Neill had broken a toe in Sunday’s Bank of Ireland Ulster final victory over Donegal were allayed last night.

The Bellaghy player joined his colleagues last night for a walkabout in Dungiven where the Anglo-Celt Cup was shown off to ecstatic local folk.

Earlier, team doctor Ben Glancy looked at the injury and was happy to report no broken bones.

Manager Brian Mullins has given the squad this week off from training but the majority of the players will line out for their clubs in the quarter-finals of the Northern Bank county championship at the weekend.

Mullins joined the Derry players at Henry Downey’s bar in Magherafelt for a celebration on Sunday evening and the celebrations extended well after midnight.

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MALACHY Molloy is expected to be cleared to play in Sunday’s win-or-bust All-Ireland quarterfinal battle with Offaly after tonight’s test outing against Antrim U21s in Dunloy.

He will put a repaired broken hand through a hard exam against the new Ulster U21 champions. Sean McGuinness, the team manager, confirmed yesterday that he will finalise the championship side after the challenge game.

Molloy sustained the injury during their jailbreak draw with London, missing the runaway replay win, and the final defeat of determined Derry.

“He is such a strong player, very influential, and to have him available for Sunday would be a big boost,” McGuinness said.

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THE Antrim Minor hurling squad are asked to attend training at Casement Park tomorrow evening at 7.30. The following players are requested to attend: D Mort, L Forsythe, V Forsythe, J McAuley, C O’Connell, M McClements, P Martin, J Martin, K Elliot, K McMullan, B McCann, K Grieves, P Kelly, S McManus, G McFauk, C Herron, J McKernan, D McAuley, R McKenna, C Short, G Bell, G McIlhatton, K McGourty, S McCabe

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MARK McCall has been appointed as Ulster rugby captain for the coming season. James Topping, meanwhile, hopes to be ready for the European Cup campaign which starts against Morocco at Ravenhill on Monday August 10 (7pm). Topping was injured during Ireland’s recent tour of South Africa.

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