BY CHRIS MCNULTY
KARL Lacey has been named at centre-back in the Donegal team for Sunday’s All-Ireland SFC quarter-final against Mayo at Croke Park (throw-in 4pm).
While the Four Masters man is listed on the team at number 6, there remain questions marks over his participation from the off in what has fast become a grudge game since the counties were drawn together in Saturday’s draw for a repeat of the 2012 All-Ireland final.
Lacey came on as a sub in Saturday’s round four qualifier win over Laois in Carrick-On-Shannon for the final 17 minutes. He has been blighted by injury since last October, having came on as a sub against Tyrone in May and then missed the Ulster semi-final win over Down in Cavan.
The 2012 Footballer of the Year played the entire Ulster final against Monaghan, but appeared leg weary. The general consensus is that the game had done him the power of good.
His inclusion in the named side is the only change to Saturday’s selection, with Malin’s Declan Walsh the unlucky man to miss out. However, Walsh could still come into the reckoning. Walsh played well on Saturday evening and will be considered hard done were he to settle for a berth among the subs.
Ryan McHugh has retained his place in the starting XV, with the Kilcar man set for a first Croke Park start. His brother Mark has not been named in the matchday 26 submitted by Donegal last night, but Donegal chiefs continue to monitor his progress and recovery.
Donegal (SFC v Mayo): Paul Durcan; Paddy McGrath, Neil McGee, Eamon McGee; Frank McGlynn, Karl Lacey, Anthony Thompson; Rory Kavanagh, Neil Gallagher; Ryan Bradley, Ryan McHugh, David Walsh; Patrick McBrearty, Michael Murphy, Colm McFadden.
DECLAN BONNER will look to collect the first piece of silverware from his second tenure in charge of Donegal.