Mayo challenge set as Underdogs panel named
The Underdogs of 2019 begin their journey on TG4 on Thursday night. And their challenge is already a clear one.
Mayo with under three months to prepare for them.
It's a tall order for any team. The men of the west have been one of the most consistent and competitive inter-county squads in the whole country for a number of years. Their minors and under-20s have been there or thereabouts in recent times.
The conveyor belt keeps on producing and no matter what players they call on for the October 26 clash under the lights in Elverys MacHale Park, it's going to make a fair proposition.
As for the Underdogs, on its comeback year in 2018, the team given a rude awakening. Dublin showed no mercy in Parnell Park as the unheralded bunch shipped a fair beating.
This year's group will aim to restore some pride and life to the series.
Managed by former Cork Ladies Footballer Valerie Mulcahy, Kerryman Mickey Ned O’Sullivan and Gaoth Dobhair legend and former Donegal Footballer Kevin Cassidy, the Underdogs will compete and train hard over six dramatic weeks as they prepare for the big day.
One of the players is Israel Ilunga from the Rosemount club in Westmeath who in a clip shared by TG4, signalled his intention to shed the identity as the kid who was racially abused and instead to be known and to be recognised for playing the game he loves.
Is iad muintir Israel an dream ba mhó a thacaigh leis ar an bpáirc peile.
'Underdogs' ag tosú anocht 21.30 @TG4TV @westmeath_gaa @rosemountgaa @leinstergaa @ADAREtelly #UnderdogsTG4 pic.twitter.com/dBLATfmkmE
— Spórt TG4 (@SportTG4) September 12, 2019
Aaron Duffy (Round Towers Lusk GAA, Co. Dublin)
Alan Daly (Donard/Glen GFC, Co. Wicklow)
Anthony Darmody (Rathmore GAA, Co. Kerry)
Anthony Hargan (St Mary’s Ardmore, Co. Derry)
Aron McKenna (Madden Raperees GAC, Co. Armagh)
Cathal McKenna (St. Patrick’s Dromitee, Co. Armagh)
Christopher Dineen (Castlerea St Kevin’s GAA, Co Roscommon)
Cillian Stynes (St. Peregrines, Co. Dublin)
Cormac Curtis (Portarlington GAA, Co. Laois)
Craig Reilly (Trinity Gaels, Co. Dublin)
Diarmuid O’ Hagan (Éire Óg GAC Co. Armagh)
Eoin Devine (Newtownstewart St Eugenes GAA, Co. Tyrone)
Eoin O’Sullivan (Douglas GAA, Co. Cork)
Fergal Owens (Mayo Gaels, Co. Mayo)
Fionn O’Leary (Skerries Harps, Co. Dublin)
Israel Ilunga (Rosemount GAA, Co. Westmeath)
Jamie Conlon (St. Patricks Dromahair, Co. Leitrim)
Jason Hickson (Annascaul GAA, Co. Kerry)
James Willis (St Brigid’s Killashee, Co. Longfort)
Jonathon O’Leary (Dr. Crokes GAA, Co. Kerry)
Kyle Fitzmaurice (Ballymahon GAA, Co. Longfort)
Leo Reilly (Donaghmore Ashbourne, Co. Meath)
Mark O’ Kane (John Mitchel’s GAC Glenullin, Co. Derry)
Mikie Lyons (Caltra, Co. Galway)
Noel Leech (St. Josephs, Co. Laois)
Patrick Ó Domhnaill (CLG Oileáin Árann, Co. Galway)
Séamus Mac Giolla Bhríghde (Na Gaeil Óga, Co. Dublin)
Steafain Gallen (Castlederg St Eugenes GAA, Co. Tyrone)
Stephen Husband (Summerhill GAA, Co. Meath)
William Kerry (Castledermot GAA, Co. Kildare)