Former Down captain Declan Rooney is expected to return to the county colours in the New Year.
The Burren clubman missed this year’s league and championship campaigns because of injury but, having recaptured his form at club level with Burren recently, he is poised to reignite his county career.
New Down manager James McCartan has a better appreciation of Rooney’s talents than anyone as he had the player under his wing while in charge at Burren.
Rooney’s Down return is expected to be complemented by the re-appearance of Liam Doyle in the red and black jersey once again.
Doyle has spent several months recovering following knee ligament surgery and his imposing presence was missed from the heart of the Down defence this year.
Martin Clarke and James Colgan, who began their careers together with the St Louis GS, Kilkeel side several years ago, are also expected to get the nod from manager McCartan.
Since his return from Australia, Clarke has already lined out for his club and he could yet be joined by his brother John, who was not involved this year, in the Down squad.
Former Down boss Ross Carr could be forgiven for turning envious eyes towards the resources that his successor now has at his disposal.
Carr, who left his post in rather controversial circumstances following Down’s championship exit, was rarely if ever able to choose from a full-strength squad during his three years in charge but now that Down’s long-term injury list has been dramatically pruned, it could mean that better days are ahead.
Meanwhile several established Armagh players will give way to new talent when manager Paddy O’Rourke confirms his initial squad shortly.
Long-serving defender Enda McNulty is expected to be among those who will be conspicuous by their absence while skipper Ciaran McKeever and Martin O’Rourke, both of whom are currently injured, will also be missing.
O’Rourke is awaiting formal confirmation on the possible involvement of some of his potential squad candidates with their respective university sides for the Barrett Sports Lighting Dr McKenna Cup competition.