Dublin and Cork gear up for league opener

Kevin O'Brien, Jack McCaffrey and Paddy Quinn will make their first Allianz Football League starts for Dublin against Cork at Croke Park tomorrow (throw-in 7pm).

O'Brien, the captain of Dublin's All-Ireland Under-21 title-winning team last year, joins Rory O'Carroll and Johnny Cooper - a 2010 All-Ireland U-21 winning skipper - in the full-back line.

Clontarf clubman McCaffrey, one of the success stories of the Dubs' O'Byrne Cup campaign, will line out at left half-back. He has graduated from the Under-21 grade and appeared as a late substitute in last summer's All-Ireland SFC quarter-final win over Laois.

Ballyboden St. Enda's duo Declan O'Mahony and Michael Darragh Macauley will combine in midfield, with Paddy Andrews piloting the Dubs' attack.

Tyrone native Quinn, who plays his club football for Na Fianna, will make his league debut at wing forward, while manager Jim Gavin can rely on a very experienced full-forward line of Kevin McManamon, Diarmuid Connolly and Bernard Brogan.

The selected Cork team includes former hurler Damien Cahalane, who will make his league bow for the footballers at left half-back. Fellow Under-21 players Thomas Clancy and John O'Rourke are also part of the panel.

Conor Counihan's men are launching the defence of their Division 1 crown and will field a strong side, back-boned by the likes of Eoin Cadogan, Graham Canty, Aidan Walsh and Donncha O'Connor.

Bishopstown's Ken O'Halloran will start in goal as regular net minder Alan Quirke is absent for the Allianz League due to an overseas assignment with the Army. Forward duo Paddy Kelly and Daniel Goulding are on the injury list.

DUBLIN (NFL v Cork): Stephen Cluxton; Johnny Cooper, Rory O'Carroll, Kevin O'Brien; Darren Daly, Ger Brennan, Jack McCaffrey; Michael Darragh Macauley, Declan O'Mahony; Paul Flynn, Paddy Andrews, Paddy Quinn; Kevin McManamon, Diarmuid Connolly, Bernard Brogan.

CORK: Ken O'Halloran; Eoin Cadogan, Michael Shields, Jamie O'Sullivan; Paudie Kissane, Graham Canty, Damien Cahalane; Alan O'Connor, Aidan Walsh; Fintan Goold, Pearse O'Neill, Ciaran Sheehan; Colm O'Neill, Donncha O'Connor, Paul Kerrigan.

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