When Down won the Gaelic Life Dr McKenna Cup in January of this year, Ronan Murtagh played a key part in their success.
But the Ballyholland man could be an absentee when the Mournemen put their trophy on the line this time round.
Murtagh runs his own construction contracts company and business commitments are likely to curtail his involvement in the competition.
“Obviously the construction business is not the healthietst overall but we have no complaints at the moment,” says Murtagh.
He was one of Down’s most consistent players this year and manager Ross Carr will undoubtedly look to his skills in 2009.
But if Murtagh may be out of the equation in the early part of the year, Daniel Hughes is hoping to replicate the scoring form that saw him play a lead role in Down’s McKenna Cup triumph.
The Saval clubman is one of the best forwards in the province and is looking forward to the resumption of inter-county action.
“While it was encouraging to go on and win the McKenna Cup, it was disappointing that we did not win promotion in the Mational League.
“Our defeat against Leitrim was a big blow to us,” says Hughes.