Spring Series to go ahead: Duffy
PARAIC DUFFY has confirmed the survival of the Spring Series – as first revealed by the Herald last week.
A question mark was left hanging over the concept after it emerged that Dublin would have no available home double-headers for their footballers and hurlers next spring, but the GAA's director general has now confirmed that Croke Park will continue to host Jim Gavin's All-Ireland football champions.
"There may be a problem with double bills, but it's definitely going ahead with football and it's a matter for Dublin after that," said Duffy.
"Dublin have indicated they intend to play in Croke Park and my understanding is that there is a meeting this week between Dublin and Croke Park to finalise it."
PLAYER RUMOURS UNFAIR: HORAN
JAMES HORAN has compared Mayo's latest All-Ireland final defeat to "being hit by a bus or a train – whichever is worse", while describing rumours of player dissatisfaction in the fall out to the Dublin reversal as "nonsense".
Breaking his silence for the first time since their September heartbreak, the Mayo manager said of the rumour mill: "There was nothing from anyone involved with the team or the set-up. There was no quote, no mention, no statement, no nothing, yet there were people swearing black and blue to complete and utter rubbish.
"Players have come to me since who have been completely devastated by some of the rubbish and rumours that have gone around and that's completely unfair. I wish there was more noise during the game than what I heard after it."
PAT TAKES SLIGO REINS
PAT FLANAGAN has been appointed as the new Sligo football manager, ending a protracted search stretching back five months to Kevin Walsh's end-of-June resignation. The Offaly native secured Division One promotion for Westmeath earlier this year, only to be controversially ousted in favour of Paul Bealin after a below-par championship.
DUAL ROLE FOR QUARTET
FOUR Offaly hurlers are set to play a dual role with the Faithful next year. Marquee forward Shane Dooley and Seán Ryan have already committed to combine both codes in 2014, while Kilcormac/Killoughey duo Conor Mahon and Daniel Currams are expected to do likewise, following an extended break after their recent gruelling club schedule.
GREEN LIGHT FOR MCGRATH
CLARE hurler Conor McGrath has been cleared to play in next Sunday's Munster Club SFC final against Dr Crokes. The All Star corner-forward, sent off in the dying moments of Cratloe's semi-final win over Ballinacourty, had his red card rescinded at a Munster Council hearing last night.