KILDARE manager Kieran McGeeney has dropped midfielder Sean Hurley from his senior squad for the second time in three seasons.
Although the Johnstownbridge man is still among an official panel of 37 for the county senior side, he will not play against Offaly this weekend and will line out for the county juniors against Meath in Ashbourne instead tomorrow (Wednesday) night.
Hurley was demoted nearly three weeks ago for a breach of discipline and his punishment, which was approved by the rest of the squad, will be enforced until after this weekend’s Leinster championship opener. It is expected that his status on the panel will be reviewed after the Offaly game but this is the second time in three seasons that Hurley has fallen foul of McGeeney. In 2011 he was dropped from the senior panel, after attending the Oxegen music festival at Punchestown while the team were still in the Qualifiers.
Offaly have also had disciplinary problems in the build-up to Saturday’s quarter-final at Croke Park. Earlier this month, Offaly manager Emmet McDonnell dropped Ross Brady, Richie Dalton and Sean Pender after missing a training session.
On the injury front, Kildare are without Hugh Lynch (hamstring), Conor Mellett (knee) and Brian Flanagan (ankle) for Saturday’s game although Mellett and Flanagan were long-term absentees. Lynch’s absence limits McGeeney’s options at midfield, especially without Sean Hurley as well. That could mean that the two Flynns – Daryl and Daniel – play at eight and nine for Kildare. Eoin Doyle, who limped out of a challenge game against Galway three weeks ago, returned to training last Thursday.
Eamonn Callaghan was named captain for the year after an in-house challenge game at the weekend. Kildare beat Roscommon and Waterford in two challenge games last week although two facile wins are unlikely to have benefitted the Lilies much.
Kildare will train on Tuesday and Thursday this week, with the team likely to be named after training on Thursday.
KILDARE SQUAD: Alan Smith, Brian Flanagan, Cathal McNally, Conor Mellett, Daniel Flynn, Daryl Flynn, David Hyland, Eamonn Callaghan, Emmet Bolton, Eoghan O’Flaherty, Eoin Doyle, Fergal Conway, Fionn Dowling, Hugh Lynch, Hugh McGrillen, John Doyle, Johnny Byrne, Mark Donnellan, Michael Konstantin, Mick Foley, Mick O’Grady, Mikey Conway, Morgan O’Flaherty, Niall Kelly, Ollie Lyons, Paddy Brophy, Padraig O’Neill, Paul Cribbin, Peter Kelly, Robert Kelly, Ronan Sweeney, Sean Hurley, Seanie Johnston, Shane Connolly, Tomas O’Connor, Tommy Moolick, Willie Groome.