The Intermediate Football Championship kicks off this weekend and we take a look at the favourites, contenders and outsiders.
Culloville lost the 2021 IFC final to Carrickcruppen but have been on the rise for the last number of years.
They’ve already earned promotion through the league and given their fine form this year, they’ll be hard stopped.
St Patrick’s were relegated from senior football last year and were expected to jump right back up in 2023.
With Jason Duffy, Aidan Nugent and Ross McQuillan back from county duty, they’re certainly one of the favourites.
St Paul’s lost out to Shane O’Neill’s in heartbreaking circumstances in last years decider, losing via a last-minute goal.
2002 All-Ireland winner Ronan Clarke enjoyed a decent first campaign with the Lurgan men, who finished third in Division 2A.
Pearse Og and Carrickcruppen were both relegated from Division 1B last season and will be a test for anyone.
The Ogs, with Garreth Thornton at the helm, had an excellent run in to finish the league. Cruppen will hope to return to the form of 2021.
Tullysaran have been top contenders for the last number of seasons, but the last four has been a stumbling block for them.
They are minus a few regulars this year but have a forward division that will be a concern for many defences.
Tir na nOg suffered relegation in the league, but with Oisin Conaty back in the fold, they’ll be a test for anyone.
Wolfe Tones also finished in the bottom two of Division 2A and will hope to challenge for the championship crown.
Keady have been in fine form this season and earned the Division 2B title with a few games left to play.
Simon McGeary’s side have a number of youngsters coming through their ranks and will be keen to display their talents.
Annaghmore bounced right back up to Division 2A following last year’s relegation and will be able to cause an upset or two.
Belleek just missed out on promotion, following a final day defeat to Annaghmore, but have been building nicely since winning the JFC in 2021.
Derrynoose enjoyed a good run in the league with last years Junior winners earning a top four finish.
They’ll hope to carry that form into the championship and show that they deserve to be at this level.
Cross IIs are somewhat of an unknown quality, but with older heads like Rico Kelly and Johnny Murtagh involved, they fancy their chances.
The return of Mark Shields will be a major boost for Whitecross, while Cathal McSherry has been in top form up front.
Forkhill were without Stephen Sheridan and Jemar Hall for the majority of the season, but the pair have returned, which will give them a major lift.
Middletown could be up against it in the championship, following their relegation, but they’ll hope to be competitive in their group.