GAA Football

Harte lays claim to eight college players

Francis Mooney

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte has included eight colleges players in his McKenna Cup squad.

Mattie Donnelly, Ronan o'Neill, Barry Tierney and Connor McAliskey of UUJ have been included in the red Hand panel, while St Mary's trio Conor Clarke, Danny McBride and niall Morgan are also in the county squad, along with Queen's University player niall McKenna.

The Ulster Council had hoped to avoid a scenario where counties and colleges would be laying claim to the same players, and appointed former Armagh manager Joe Kernan to try and mediate between the two.

However, Kernan accepted that the task of to trying to persuade county managers not to keep their college stars for county action was an impossible task.

Tyrone Pro eunan lindsay said it was important for Harte to have access to his players at this early stage of the season as he sets about assembling a squad for the national league.

He added that playing resources had been depleted by the unavailability of a number of players, mainly due to injury, with a dozen members of last season's squad absent for the pre-season competition.

"From last year's panel, we are down 12 players, and these players need to be given a chance to establish themselves, and this is the only time we can integrate them, with the national league coming up," said Lindsay.

Having undertaken a major overhaul of his squad at the beginning of last season, the treble All-Ireland winning manager has introduced another raft of newcomers, with nine new faces making it into the McKenna Cup squad.

Tyrone will be without a raft of well-known players for the McKenna Cup, mainly due to minor injuries.

Among those who will play no part in the McKenna Cup are Stephen o'Neill, Joe McMahon, Justin McMahon, Kyle Coney, Dermot Carlin, PJ Quinn, Aidan Cassidy, Ronan Mcnabb and Mark Donnelly Tyrone squad: Kevin Campbell (Derrytresk), Conor Clarke (Omagh), Mathew Donnelly (Trillick), Hugh Gallagher (Omagh), Kevin Gallagher (Newtownstewart), Conan Grugan (Omagh), Peter Harte (Errigal Ciaran), Peter Hughes (Eskra), Plunkett Kane (Coalisland), PJ Lavery (Clonoe), Connor McAliskey (Clonoe), Danny McBride (Strabane), Tiernan McCann (Killyclogher), Ciaran McGinley (Errigal Ciaran), Shea McGuigan (Ardboe), Emmett McKenna (Eglish), Niall McKenna (Donaghmore), Ryan McKenna (Eglish), Ronan McNamee (Aghyaran), Patrick McNiece (Coalisland), Daniel McNulty (Clonoe), Niall Morgan (Edendork), Michael O'Neill (Clonoe), Ronan O'Neill (Omagh), Patrick Quinn (Dungannon), Barry Tierney (Omagh)

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