McCready expected to replace Dunnion in Donegal defence

Veteran defender, Niall McCready, is expected to fill the vacancy left by Barry Dunnion in the Donegal defence for Saturday evening's first round All Ireland Senior Championship Qualifier with Roscommon.

This newspaper has learned that the Aodh Ruadh man, who missed the Ulster championship tie with Derry, in MacCumhaill Park, has been told by Brian McIver that he will start against the Shannonsiders.

McCready came through Aodh Ruadh's championship encounter with Dungloe and now looks set to get the nod ahead of new additions to the squad St. Eunan's pair Mark McGowan and Damien McClafferty.

Paddy McDaid, who was named at corner back for the Derry game but had to cry off an ankle injury, is still out of the reckoning.

The Termon man has not played with his club since picking up the injury during the week prior to the meeing with the Oak Leaf men. Fanad Gaels' Paddy McConigley is the other man in contention for a place in the defence.

The inclusion of McCready will be seen as a clear signal that McIver is opting for the tried and trusted ahead of youth and inexperience.

Elsewhere, all eyes will be on his selection up front especially with the return to the squad of Brendan Devenney, and also with Stephen Griffin showing good form in recent weeks for his club. Griffin posted 10 points in St. Naul's Intermediate championship win over Naomh Brid, on Sunday week last.

There is speculation also that Kevin Cassidy may be moved to the defence with Rory Kavanagh partnering Neil Gallagher at midfield.

As well as Dunnion, who underwent a second surgery in the space of 12 months for a groin problem, McIver will also have to plan without Brian Roper, who picked up a hamstring injury against Dungloe.

Otherwise the Donegal boss is reported to have a full squad to select from after the panel had a number of training sessions over Saturday and Sunday which included an overnight in the Milford Inn.

Donegal are hot favourites for Saturday evening's encounter against a Roscommon side that suffered a heavy first round defeat in the Connacht championship to Galway. Roscommon won one and drew one game in Division Two of the National Football League which resulted in them being relegated along with Cavan.


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