Mayo manager James Horan will wait until this evening to announce his starting team for Sunday’s All Ireland semi-final against Kerry. It had been expected that the Ballintubber club man would announce his side on Wednesday night, but he has decided to wait until this evening to unveil his starting selection. Horan is waiting on the fitness reports of both Trevor Mortimer and Peadar Gardiner who picked up injuries in training for the county side and in club action respectively over the past few weeks. A third name was added to that list of worries on Tuesday night when Swinford’s Aidan Campbell picked up a knock at training in preparation for the clash.
Mayo will also be planning without the experienced David Clarke who picked up a ligament injury playing for Ballina in a recent club championship game, which will see Kenneth O’Malley earn a recall to the bench as understudy to Breaffy’s Robert Hennelly who has established himself as first choice goalkeeper this season. If Mortimer does not make it back to fitness for Sunday it has been speculated that Westport’s Lee Keegan will fill in the half back line. Keegan made his championship debut coming on late in the action against Cork in the All Ireland quarter final and this would be a first championship start for the former minor and u21 player. Horan has proved himself able to make changes when he thinks they are needed, with both Enda Varley and Ger Cafferkey coming into the side for the clash against Cork last time around. However Jason Doherty who was replaced by Varley in the last game could be in line for a recall to the full forward line.
Kerry for their part have made one change from the side that saw off Limerick in their last eight meeting, with a tight hamstring ruling out former Footballer of the Year Paul Galvin from the clash. There had been concern expressed in the Kingdom that defender Tomás Ó Sé could miss out after picking up a hamstring injury in training last weekend, but he was selected at right wing back during the week. Galvin will be replaced by Dr Crokes’ man Kieran O’Leary who will wear number 15, with Darren O’Sullivan now slated into starting in Galvin’s normal position at right wing forward. You can read John Maughan’s thoughts on the game inside on page 56 and also our interview with Ballinrobe’s Donal Vaughan on the same page. You will also be able to read our match report on the game not too long after the final whistle on Sunday evening, online at www.advertiser.ie/mayo