Mayo manager Stephen Rochford has been forced to assemble a brand new squad for the opening rounds of the FBD Connacht League that begins on Sunday for the Westerners.
Rochford has had to trawl for new talent because only three of Mayo’s 2017 championship squad are not currently in Malaysia on a team holiday with last year’s All-Ireland finalists.
Footballer of the Year Andy Moran, All Star goalkeeper David Clarke and experienced midfielder Barry Moran are the only members of last year’s panel who didn’t make the ten-day trip to Kuala Lumpur.
With their colleagues not returning from South-East Asia until early next week, almost 30 players were invited in to form an experimental Mayo squad for the first two rounds of the Connacht League against Galway on Sunday and Leitrim next Wednesday. Both games will be played in Castlebar.
Kevin Keane, who has been out of action since tearing his cruciate knee ligament last February, Jason Gibbons, Alan Freeman and Neil Douglas are among those with inter-county experience who have been recalled by Rochford.
2016 All-Ireland under-21 winners Seamus Cunniffe, Michael Hall, Michael Plunkett, Sharoize Akram, Matthew Ruane, Brian Reape and James Carr are also included in the shadow squad.
This Mayo development panel had their first game together last weekend when they beat the students of NUI, Galway in a challenge match with Brian Reape scoring four goals.
Mayo squad: Paddy O’Malley, Kevin Keane, Fionn McDonagh, Oisin McLaughlin (all Westport), Stephen Duffy, Jordan Flynn (Crossmolina), Barry Moran, Ger McDonagh, Neil Douglas (Castlebar Mitchels), Aidan Butler, James Stretton, James McCormack (Claremorris), Michael Plunkett, Jason Gibbons (Ballintubber), Seamus Cunniffe, Sharoize Akram, Andy Moran (Ballaghaderreen), Matthew Ruane, Michael Hall (Breaffy), Nathan Moran (Hollymount/Carramore), Ryan O’Donoghue (Belmullet), Brian Reape (Moy Davitts), David Clarke, Ciaran Treacy (Ballina Stephenites), Ross Egan, Alan Freeman (Aghamore), Peter Naughton, Marcus Park (Knockmore), Jamie Oates (Garrymore), Adam Gallagher (Mayo Gaels) and James Carr (Ardagh).