Derry boss Brian McIver has reacted angrily to the scheduling of Sigerson Cup games, in the middle of the week leading up to the beginning of the National League.
“I felt the timing of the first round of the Sigerson could have been better,” he said.
“Granted, a lot of counties are in the same boat, but when you are preparing for the second biggest competition that you will enter, you like to have a clear period of preparation.”
Derry meet Galway in Pearse Stadium this Sunday, in a repeat of their league opener last year, which the Tribesmen won without much bother in Celtic Park.
Tyrone boss Mickey Harte has picked Niall Morgan ahead of John Devine — who drops to the bench— and Pascal McConnell to mind the nets against Down. There are National League debuts for Ryan McKenna, Ronan McNamee, Plunkett Kane, Kevin Gallagher and Conor McAliskey in a vastly-altered Red Hands side.
Quite incredibly, this is the first time they meet Down in the league since 1986. Back then, Down beat Tyrone 0-8 and 0-7, with fathers of two of the current Down team on the scoresheet; the late Ambrose Rogers and Ross Carr.
DERRY [v Galway]
E McNicholl; R Ferris, D McBride, C McWilliams; C McKaigue, M Lynch (Capt), SL McGoldrick; Patsy Bradley, PJ McCloskey; E Lynn, R Bell, D Heavron; C Devlin, E Bradley, J Kielt
TYRONE [v Down]
N Morgan; A McCrory, C Gormley, C McCarron; R McKenna, J McMahon, R McNamee; P Kane, S Cavanagh; K Gallagher, P Harte, Matthew Donnelly; C McAliskey, S O'Neill [Capt], Mark Donnelly
DOWN [v Tyrone]
M Cunningham; D Turley, D McCartan, R Boyle; R Mallon, A Carr, D O'Hagan; K King, K McKernan; K Quinn, M Poland, B Coulter; C Laverty, C Harrison, P McComiskey
ARMAGH [v Laois]
P McAvoy; M Shields, J Donnelly, G McCooey; K Dyas, C McKeever, F Moriarty; K Toner, J Lavery; C Rafferty, A Forker, E Rafferty; G McParland, S Forker, B Mallon
ANTRIM [v Cavan]
C Kerr; K O'Boyle, P Doherty, N Delargy; T Scullion J Crozier, J Carron; M McCann, S McVeigh; C Murray, K Niblock, B Herron; M Pollock, M Herron, R Murray.