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Mayo manager Stephen Rochford pictured at Elverys MacHale Park on Sunday.

Mayo manager Stephen Rochford pictured at Elverys MacHale Park on Sunday.

Injury concerns for Mayo ahead of Allianz Football League

By Cian O'Connell

Mayo manager Stephen Rochford expects Donal Vaughan and Seamus O'Shea to miss the majority of the Allianz Football League.

Speaking following the postponement of Sunday's Connacht FBD League clash against Galway at Elverys MacHale Park, Rochford confirmed that Lee Keegan and Chris Barrett won't be available until well into the spring also.

"We will be without Seamie O’Shea with a knee injury for the vast majority if not all the League," Rochford revealed.

"Donal Vaughan has got a problem that will reduce his participation and he will probably not play in it.

"Chris Barrett picked up an injury coming off the international Rules which will keep him out for at least the first four games."

Barrett underwent a procedure on a knee injury, but Rochford is encouraged by how Keegan is faring following surgery. "He is making good progress," Rochford said. "He is abroad at the moment and we will assess him when he comes back, but at the moment we are planning that he won’t be available for the League."

Rochford is happy that Jason Gibbons, Alan Freeman, and Kevin Keane are all back involved for the FBD League with Mayo set to face Leitrim on Wednesday and Galway on Friday, both in Castlebar. "I suppose the circumstances presented themselves for a number of guys to present and get an opportunity," Rochford stated.

"Kevin Keane, another guy that would have had games in Championship with Mayo before so, look, some return because of injury, some return because of the situation that presents itself and to have their experience along with a number of younger guys gives us a good blend in the squad.

"The opportunity is there, as we said to them, to get themselves into the League squad, but that will take good displays during the FBD."

The Mayo boss is adamant that the Green and Red don't need to unearth any significant new talent to add to their options.

"Not necessarily," Rochford replied. "People may have that perception or that seems to be a common theme for the last number of years, I don't think that's any different now in 2018 and that'll just be the way it is.

"We'll find the players that are there. We're always of a quality mind that there's good quality footballers in Mayo and good youthful footballers and if they're good enough, they'll be in the squad and might push out somebody that was there last year." 

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