Westmeath team named for season opener with Kildare

Jack Cooney has named an unfamiliar Westmeath senior football team for the first competitive match of the season against Kildare tomorrow (Saturday).

Westmeath take on the Lilywhites, now managed by former star Glenn Ryan, in the opening round of the O'Byrne Cup at St Conleth's Park, Newbridge, throw-in 1pm.

A number of players will be making their first senior starts for Westmeath - including Trevor Martin (The Downs), Conor Dillon (Milltown), Shane Allen (Athlone), Jonathan Lynam (The Downs), Eoin Monaghan (Garrycastle) and Robbie Forde (Moate All Whites).

The match will also see Luke Loughlin return to the maroon and white jersey, having not featured in last year's championship.

See below for the full Westmeath team line-up and this weekend's Leinster GAA fixtures.

It will be the first meeting of the counties since last year's Leinster semi-final which Kildare won narrowly at Croke Park - a game that Westmeath had the chances to win.

Tickets for the Kildare v Westmeath game can be purchased via the following link - https://universe.com/events/obryne-cup-sf-2022-kildare-v-westmeath-tickets-5W8S3G

Westmeath will host Carlow in the second round of the O'Byrne Cup on Saturday, January 15.

Westmeath team v Kildare

1. Trevor Martin (The Downs)

2. Eoghan Bracken (Coralstown/Kinnegad)

3. David Giles (Coralstown/Kinnegad)

4. Conor Dillon (Milltown)

5. Shane Allen (Athlone)

6. Nigel Harte (Tyrrellspass)

7. Jamie Gonoud (Tyrrellspass)

8. Jonathan Lynam (The Downs)

9. Ray Connellan (Athlone)

10. Eoin Monaghan (Garrycastle)

11. Luke Loughlin (The Downs)

12. Conor McCormack (Caulry)

13. Brandon Kelly (Milltownpass)

14. Alex Gardiner (Garrycastle)

15. Robbie Forde (Moate All Whites)

Leinster GAA Fixtures

Saturday, January 8

AIB Leinster Club JHC Final

UPMC Nowlan Park (1pm) Mooncoin (Kilkenny) v Shamrocks (Offaly), Ref: Caymon Flynn (Westmeath), Winner on the Day.

AIB Leinster Club SFC Final

Croke Park (5pm) Kilmacud Crokes (Dublin) v Naas (Kildare), Patrick Maguire (Longford), live on RTE, Winner on the Day.

O'Byrne Cup Senior Football – Round 1

Bord na Mona O'Connor Park (2pm) Offaly v Dublin, Patrick Coyle (Meath).

St Conleth’s Park Newbridge (1pm) Kildare v Westmeath, David Fedigan (Louth).

Rathcline GAA, Lanesboro (2pm) Longford v Louth, Alan Coyne (Westmeath).

Hollymount, Shelmaliers GAA (2pm) Wexford v Laois, Kieran Harris (Kildare).

Sunday, January 9

Walsh Cup Senior Hurling - Round 1

Ballinasloe (2pm) Galway v Offaly, Chris Mooney (Dublin).

Parnell Park (2pm) Dublin v Antrim, David Hughes (Kilkenny).

Rathdowney (2pm) Laois v Wexford, Patrick Murphy (Carlow).