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Healy to miss McKenna Cup as Harbinson takes stock

 

By John Campbell

Antrim defender Peter Healy is set to miss the Dr McKenna Cup competition in which his side open their campaign against Tyrone at Healy Park, Omagh on Wednesday night (8.00pm).

Healy is recovering from injury and manager Lenny Harbinson is reluctant to pitch him into action until he has regained full fitness.

While Harbinson sees his team's outing against the Red Hands as an early assessment of their potential, he is rather more focussed on having his strongest possible line-up available for the start of the Allianz League at the end of the month.

Harbinson has already made it clear that making the step up to Division Three will be a priority for his side.

"Promotion is our big aim and we will need everyone on board for this," insists Harbinson, "Peter Healy is among the players that can help us achieve this so we have to monitor him and others who are returning from injury carefully."

Patrick McBride, Conor Hamill and Mark Sweeney are others who are striving to regain full fitness and their absence will pave the way for newcomers to make an impact.

"Obviously when we meet Tyrone we expect that they will be fielding something of an experimental side just like us," stresses Harbinson, "They will be bidding to win the McKenna Cup for the seventh year on the trot so it's going to be a tough match."

Meanwhile, former Down and Fermanagh manager Peter McGrath made his competitive debut as Louth's new boss on Saturday but saw his side lose to Longford by 2-13 to 1-10 in the O'Byrne Cup.

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