GAA: Down miss McCartan
Eoin McCartan (pictured) is one of three talented Down players who has had to put his career on hold.
Along with Brendan Loughran and Colm Murtagh, McCartan, younger brother of former All Ireland winner James and this year's Queen's University Sigerson Cup winning side Daniel, is a long-term injury victim.
And that does not help Mourne boss Ross Carr in his bid to finalise his squad for 2008.
"We also have a situation where Ambrose Rodgers has been playing under the handicap of an injury and he needs a bit of a rest. Obviously we would like to have him back in the frame along with the other three boys but we will just have to be patient," said Carr, who won All Ireland winners medals with Down in 1991 and 1994.
He plans to have his squad finalised in mid-December for the TG4 Dr McKenna Cup, but the names of his own son Aidan and Owen Henry will be missing.
" Aidan has gone travelling in Australia. He had been in the United States but he has moved on while Owen is in London," said Ross.
Aidan, in fact, played a key role in the Queen's side that won the Sigerson Cup, his freetaking proving crucial to their success. He also showed considerable consistency in Down's colours during the National League this year.
Down will be in Division Three next year and manager Carr acknowledges that they have a fight on their hands to move up into Division Two.
" Teams like Sligo, Longford, Fermanagh, Limerick and Wexford are in there along with us - it's not going to be easy," said Ross.