BY CHRIS MCNULTY
DONEGAL forward Adrian Hanlon has been released from the Donegal senior football panel this week, but Jim McGuinness hopes to welcome midfielder Rory Kavanagh back to training on Tuesday night as preparations for the June 12th Ulster quarter final gather with Cavan gather momentum.
Donegal take on Leitrim in a challenge game on Sunday evening (6.15pm throw-in) to mark the official opening of Red Hughs’ new pitch in Killygordon. One man who won’t be involved is Adrian Hanlon, who was informed on Tuesday by McGuinness that he was being released from the panel for the remainder of the year.
Speaking to the Donegal News yesterday afternoon, McGuinness confirmed that the diminutive attacker had departed the squad. “We have dealt with the matter internally and we’re happy enough that it has been dealt with internally,” was the county manager’s only comment on the matter.
It’s understood that Hanlon has been let go for a breach of discipline. The Dungloe forward was first brought into the Donegal set-up by John Joe Doherty in 2009. He had only recently broken into the first-choice plans of McGuinness having had to make to with a substitute’s role for most of the League.
He started the Division 2 League final win over Laois in Croke Park and he scored a point when started against Antrim in the Preliminary Round of the Championship two weeks’ ago.
He was sure to be in line for a place against Cavan, but has been released from the panel this week and on Tuesday night he trained with his club, Dungloe.
McGuinness hopes to have Rory Kavanagh back training with the county squad on Tuesday night. The St Eunan’s man missed his club’s Championship win away to Dungloe on Sunday after picking up an ankle injury in club training last Tuesday night.
“Rory would be the only man we’d have a concern over, but at this stage I don’t think he’s a doubt for the Cavan game and I’d hope that he’d be back in training on Tuesday night.”
McGuinness held an in-house A versus B game on Tuesday night with a number of players drafted in for a trial from outside the panel. However, he has suggested that it is unlikely that any ‘new’ faces will appear on Sunday as his side meet Leitrim in an intercounty challenge in Killygordon.
“We would be looking at it from the point of view of getting everyone in the squad 30 or 35 minutes. Obviously there are games at the weekend for clubs so we won’t be expecting anyone to play a full game,” he said.
Sunday’s game marks the opening of Red Hughs’ fine facilities at Monellan, Killygordon. Sligo had pulled out of a proposed game and it had been expected that Donegal would take on a Naomh Conaill select. However, earlier this week it was confirmed that Leitrim – managed by former Donegal boss Mickey Moran – who beat Sligo in the Connacht Championship last weekend, would provide the opposition.
“Leitrim will be a good challenge for us, they are going well and played well to beat Sligo last weekend,” said McGuinness. The sides met in a challenge game a few weeks ago in Cavan, a game Donegal won.
Meanwhile, McGuinness has confirmed that Ardara midfielder Conor Classon is to leave the county squad, with the player heading abroad for the summer months.
BY CHRIS MCNULTY