Last year’s beaten All-Ireland finalists Mayo have finalised their championship squad just over four weeks before they take on Galway in the Connacht SFC in Castlebar.

Among the players released by Stephen Rochford following an inconsistent National League campaign are Alan Freeman and Jason Gibbons.

Freeman, who made his championship debut eight years ago, only made one fleeting appearance during the league as a late substitute against Donegal in the final round of the competition.

Gibbons started Mayo’s first three league matches - against Monaghan, Kerry and Galway - but didn’t feature again subsequently.

Jason Gibbons and Alan Freeman

Castlebar Mitchels defenders Ger McDonagh and Donie Newcombe have also been released back to their club.

However, Cian Hanley, who has spent the last three years with the Brisbane Lions in Australia, has been included in Mayo’s summer plans.

Hanley (22) has been training with the Westerners since returning to Ireland earlier this year, but didn’t feature for Mayo during their National League campaign.

A former Mayo minor captain, and brother of AFL star Pearce, Hanley has played three club games with Ballaghaderreen recently, including a championship match last weekend.

Another player invited back to the Mayo fold is Castlebar forward, James Durcan, a twin brother of Mayo defender Paddy.

Durcan has been added to Mayo’s ‘development squad’ after impressing in a number of club games with the county champions recently.

The former Mayo minor and under-21 forward has been in flying form and returns to the fold after lining out in the Connacht League back in January.

Meanwhile, Cillian O’Connor, Evan Regan and Donie Vaughan are all continuing to make good progress in their recovery from their respective injuries.

Cillian O'Connor

O’Connor (who tore his hamstring three weeks ago) resumed running last week while Regan and Vaughan both lined out in the Mayo club championship last weekend.

It was Regan’s first competitive game of football since fracturing his cheekbone against Kerry nine weeks ago, while Vaughan’s 15-minute debut for Castlebar Mitchels was his first competitive action in almost six months.

However, as expected, Brendan Harrison didn’t feature for his club as he continues his rehabilitation from a hip injury.

The All Star defender is still aiming to be fit to line out against Galway next month.

Caolan Crowe also sat out Garrymore’s fixture due to illness.

Meanwhile, Keith Higgins trained with the county football squad for the first time this season last week.

Higgins elected to play with the Mayo hurlers during the National League, but it remains to be seen if he will be line out in their upcoming Christy Ring Cup campaign.

Mayo are due to play their opening game in the competition on Saturday, 12 May,  away to Wicklow.

That’s the day before Mayo footballers take on Galway in Castlebar.