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Colin Walshe aims to be back for derby clash

By Declan Bogue

Monaghan's 2013 All-Star defender Colin Walshe has targeted a return to county football in time for their 2015 Ulster Championship clash with neighbours Cavan.

Walshe was speaking at the All-Stars tour in Boston, among a number of injured players who are currently recuperating, including Paul Flynn, Cian O'Sullivan, Michael Darragh Macauley from Dublin, and Player of the Year, Kerry's James O'Donoghue.

He ruptured his cruciate in the All-Ireland quarter-final against Dublin, but has his eyes set on being ready to reclaim the Ulster title they won in 2013.

"At the minute, I am looking to be back for the Championship in May, if I am lucky," Walshe said.

"I am taking it very light on the walking around the city and the cold weather would not suit it either.

"But I am taking a few days to myself and will be back at the running when we come back," he added.

"I was heavy loading in training there for a period, so I was actually due a few days off to let the knee settle again. That's just the way the rehab is going."

Walshe appreciated the opportunity to hook up with his peers, saying, "This is my first All-Star trip and it's been great so far. I suppose mixing with boys that you are playing against, having a bit of craic with them is good.

"I have been in DIT and Jordanstown and mixed with boys from all over the country and I suppose this is the same."

He also gave an indication that Monaghan manager Malachy O'Rourke may be bringing in some of the Ulster winning minor side of 2013.

"We have got back at it, Malachy will be bringing a few young guys in," Walshe continued.

"We would be hoping to get some of the minors in 2013, Malachy put in Ryan Wylie when he was just out of minors so I expect to see some young players integrated into the team and there would be talent coming through from that minor team."

Meanwhile, Mayo's Cillian O'Connor believes that their latest Championship exit can still help them to become even stronger.

Describing the loss to Kerry in the All-Ireland semi-final replay played in Limerick, O'Connor said: "The fact that James (Horan, former manager) ... it was his fourth year, and we were spending a bit of time wondering if it was his last year.

"The week after, and I have said it, it was as low as I ever felt," he stated.

"But after a couple of weeks, it's strange because you think you need eight weeks off, but after two, you are itching to go again," he added.

"The average age of the squad is still quite low, I don't think there will be any more retirements, so we will see how we go," he commented.

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