Alan and Donncha O’Connor have made themselves available for selection for the Cork senior footballers for another season.

Selector Eoin O’Neill confirmed that the pair are training with the squad, although they are not expected to feature in the McGrath Cup.

St Colum's clubman Alan, 31, retired from inter-county football in 2013 but returned in 2015. He won an All-Ireland with the Rebels in 2010 along with Ballydesmond's 35-year-old Donncha.

O’Neill told the Irish Examiner: “They’re on board and they’re training away with us.

“We know what these guys can do so we’ll leave them off at this point. We have to manage those lads as they have miles in their legs. There is no point running them around the place in January.”

The news will come as a boost for the county following the retirements of Fintan Goold, Daniel Goulding and Patrick Kelly.

O’Neill also ruled out Brian Hurley for the start of the Allianz League. The Castlehaven forward is continuing his recovery from an August operation on his hamstring.

O’Neill continued: “Brian is going through his rehab process. He has another bit of time off. I don’t think he’ll be available for the start of the league at all.”

O'Halloran, left, and Shields, are back in the Cork panel

Meanwhile two-time All Star Michael Shields returns to the Cork starting team for their first outing of 2017 in their McGrath Cup encounter with Tipperary Templetuohy tonight at 7.30pm.

Shields, along with goalkeeper Ken O’Halloran, were removed from the panel by manager Peader Healy last May, but the St Finbarr’s man is named at corner back, while O’Halloran is among the replacements.

Tipperary began their campaign with a defeat to 14-point defeat to Kerry last weekend.