By John Fogarty
Kevin Cassidy is fearful Diarmuid Connolly will be a marked man in the Massachusetts senior football championship as he looks set to join Donegal Boston.
As revealed by the Irish Examiner last week, Connolly plans to head to the US, with Boston believed to be his destination of choice. Connolly was set to join Donegal Boston although there were suggestions last night there may be a hold-up in the move.
Former Donegal star Cassidy played two summers with Donegal Boston and he said the Dublin forward will be in good hands. But he knows how inter-county players wear bullseyes there.
“When I read about it, it was one of the first things that came to mind. I have great time for Diarmuid and I like him but I know from being over there how tough it is (being a high profile player)
“I would have suffered serious abuse when I was there and it’s just a part of it. I hope he is well enough protected because the last thing we want to see is somebody dangerously fouling him or making a reckless tackle. Diarmuid is big enough to handle it but there will be a good bit of it coming his way.”
Cassidy strongly vouches for Donegal Boston, who are likely to arrange employment and an apartment for Connolly. There the St Vincent’s man will be linking up with the likes of Liam Silke, Dylan Wall, Eoin McHugh, and Michael Carroll.
“I went over first when I was 23 or 24 but the second time I was with my family and it was enjoyable for us all,” recalls Cassidy. “Diarmuid will probably take the sensible approach and see places and they’ll get him a nice flat. They’re in it to win it but outside of that they want to make sure the player is looked after.
“It’ll be a different atmosphere for him there, getting up early in the morning to watch the Dubs. Football kinda takes second place, you appreciate life outside it more and it may help him rediscover his appetite for the game.”
As an admirer of Connolly, Cassidy wants to see him in Dublin colours next season.
“He has achieved almost all there is to as a player but I’d be thinking there’s more left in him. As a neutral, I’m devastated that he’s not here this summer because I love watching him but what can you do?
“I spent four years in the States. The likes of Paddy McDevitt in Donegal Boston will make sure he enjoys his time there.”
This story first appeared in the Irish Examiner.