Saturday 18 November 2017

Murtagh's Wee blow

JOHNNY MURTAGH'S bid to declare for Louth has hit a major stumbling block after his transfer request was turned down by Croke Park.

The Parnell's forward had decided to join Louth, the county in which he was born, after falling out of favour with his native Armagh under manager, Paddy O'Rourke.

The path seemed clear last week to a quick resolution, with Wee County manager, Peter Fitzpatrick, declaring that he would welcome Murtagh "with open arms".

However, GAA officials have ruled against Murtagh citing the fact that he listed Armagh as his home county in his transfer application from Crossmaglen Ranger to the Coolock club last year.

Murtagh has indicated he will now appeal the decision but he will not be able to link up with Fitzpatrick's squad in the immediate term and faces the possibility of remaining in inter-county wilderness unless the decision is overturned.

To exacerbate the situation, Murtagh is out for four to six week after fracturing a bone in his wrist whilst training with his club last weekend.

DUBLIN'S injury list continues to mount ahead of their Allianz League Division 1 opener with Kerry on Saturday week after wing-back prospect, Nicky Devereux, was ruled out with a hamstring injury.

The Ballinteer St John's flyer lined out for DIT in their O'Byrne Shield defeat to Laois last weekend but was taken off after suffering a serious hamstring injury.

He is now certain to miss the Kerry match and depending on the severity of the injury, could be facing a lengthy stint on the sidelines.

Devereux, an All-Ireland U 21 medalist in 2010, has yet to make his league debut for Dublin after he was ruled out of the early part of last year after being involved in a road accident.

JIM McGUINNESS has threatened to pull Donegal out of next year's Dr McKenna Cup if he is not given full access to his players during the course of the competition.

McGuinness has been involved in a war of words with DCU boss, Niall Moyna, over the handling over Martin McElhinney last weekend and the Donegal manager insisted that the colleges were being given far too much access to their inter-county contingent.

"I think we are going to have to seriously consider whether or not we enter the Dr McKenna Cup next year if we don't have the college players available to us," McGuinness said.

"I think this is something the GAA is going to have to look into and who the college players are available to.

"It is certainly not working and I would urge the GAA to look at the whole subsidiary competition and if there is no change we will have to seriously consider not playing in the Dr McKenna next year."

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