The New York minor squad landed today in Dublin ahead of the championship game against Roscommon on Saturday at Croke Park. It's will be first time New York of any type will play in a game at the new look Croke Park.
The Connacht championship game will be a 3 p.m. curtain-raiser to the NFL Division 4, between Longford and Roscommon seniors at 5 p.m., and Division 3 decider involving Westmeath and Louth at 7 p.m.
After a 20-year hiatus, the New York minors followed the lead of their senior counterparts in 2010 in the Connacht Minor Football Championship by playing Galway in the quarter final last May in Pearse Stadium in Salthill.
The travel plans were disrupted then by the volcanic ash from Iceland, but the main change of plan this time has been welcomed by the Apple squad - the change of venue from Dr. Hyde Park in Roscommon to GAA headquarters in Dublin.
This year's team has been in training since tryouts began in early December and in spite of a particularly harsh winter, has managed to continue training at both indoor and outdoor venues since. In recent weeks, several games have been played against local junior and intermediate clubs in preparation for the championship game.
The 2011 team is comprised of players representing 4 clubs, as follows: Rangers: Donnacha O'Dwyer, Kieran Moran, Daniel Lehane, Kevin Daly,Gareth Moore, Brian Twomey, Aidan Tansey, Daniel Moriarty & Shane O'Brien St. Barnabas: John Clarke, Connor Flanagan, Eddie Hogan Jr., Shane Hogan, Barry Mullen, Michael Mahon, Michael McBrien & Rory Redican Celtics: Michael McSweeney, Liam McHugh & Vincent Petrosino. St. Brendan's:Niall Bowden, Niall Croke, Eamon Johnston & Edmond Myers.
The manager is Eddie Hogan from County Tipperary. The selectors are Denis Twomey, Kieran Croke, both native New Yorkers and Peter McKenna from County Waterford. The Tour Manager is Eugene McArdle, from County Monaghan.
A farewell party and fundraiser was held last Sunday in Danny Mac's Bar on McLean Ave in Yonkers.