Offaly footballers to open 2017 season against IT Carlow

Kildare and Longford also in Offaly's O'Byrne Cup Group

Damian Moran

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Damian Moran

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news@offalyexpress.ie

Offaly GAA Football

Offaly to face Carlow IT in O'Byrne Cup opener

The Offaly Senior Footballers will begin their 2017 season with a game against IT Carlow in the Bord na Mona O'Byrne Cup on January 8.

Pat Flanagan's side will also face Longford away on January 11 before their final group game at home to Kildare on January 15

Elsewhere defending O’Byrne Cup champions Meath are in a tough group with Wicklow, Laois and students of DIT. All-Ireland and Leinster champions Dublin have been pitted against DCU, Wexford and UCD. Westmeath, Louth, Carlow and Maynooth University make up the fourth competitive group.

SEE ALSO: Niall McNamee named Offaly Senior Footballer of the year again

The competition begins on Sunday, January 8, 2017 with another round played under lights on Wednesday night with the final round the following Sunday. Only the winner advances from each group to the semi-finals.

It will represent the first time in 2017 that inter county players get to grips with the introduction of the Mark in Gaelic football while it has also been decided that there will be no limit on the number of substitutions allowed.

Leinster GAA has announced an agreement with Bord na Móna to extend their sponsorship of the Leinster GAA Series for a further three years up until after the 2019 competition.