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Returning stars a boost for Cavan boss Terry Hyland

By John Campbell

Cavan manager Terry Hyland is keeping his fingers crossed that two of his most high-profile players will return to action at some stage during the Allianz League.

Eugene Keating and Cian Mackey have been to the fore in the county's recent renaissance but injury is currently keeping them in the shadows.

And Hyland will also have the welcome mat out for James McEnroe, Robert Maloney-Derham, Martin Dunne, Michael Argue, Michael Lyng and Niall McDermott, all of whom are expected to return shortly to help provide the impetus for what Hyland hopes will prove a more inspiring championship run this year.

The return of Keating and Mackey in particular will be warmly welcomed by the Cavan faithful.

Their experience, craft and finishing skills have been very much in evidence in recent seasons with Keating's five-point haul from play against Donegal in the Ulster championship in 2012 when he was marked by Neil McGee still rated as one of the finest individual performances in the team's recent history.

Keating has been on the books of Dublin club St Sylvester's for the past year but is currently seeking to have a transfer to Kilmacud Crokes rubber-stamped.

"There are a number of players out at the moment but we are hoping to have them back for some action in the league," points out Hyland.

"We are probably a little caught for fire-power up front at the minute but we have people like Martin Reilly and Ronan Flanagan in there to fall back on when we need them.

"We have Gearoid McKiernan back in action following his cruciate ligament problems last year and hopefully he can build on the stirring form he showed against Down last Sunday.

"We still have a reasonable degree of talent in reserve and from that point of view our panel could be said to be pretty strong."

Hyland's warning will have particular resonance for UUJ who must travel to Kingspan Breffni Park on Saturday having lost their opening McKenna Cup fixture against Monaghan.

The Cavan boss may have lost the services of three very capable players in last year's captain Alan Clarke, midfield powerhouse David Givney and utility forward Kevin Tierney, all of whom have called time on their inter-county careers, but he is prepared to dwell on what he feels are the positives as he focuses on making headway.

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