Injury-hit Earley expects Cork to pick up stricken Duggan’s costs

Double cruciate injury victim Dermot Earley is confident Diarmuid Duggan’s costs will be met after the former Cork footballer went public with his plight.

Duggan has been left out of pocket by €7,000 after forking out for a second operation on a hip injury incurred playing inter-county football. GPA chairman Dónal Óg Cusack revealed on Tuesday that Cork chairman Bob Ryan will meet with the Ilen Rovers man after Duggan’s previous correspondence to the county board was ignored.

Earley has had all his medical and physio expenses covered by Kildare GAA chiefs over the last two seasons when he’s damaged his right cruciate twice, even the second time last April when the ligament became un-knit walking up the stairs of his house.

He knows Duggan should never have been forced to go public with his predicament but believes it will result in a resolution for the player.

“It shouldn’t have come to that but I’m sure it will be sorted,” he said.

“It’s an unfortunate thing but I’m sure an arrangement will be made. It’s only right that something like that does happen and a player that plays inter-county doesn’t go out of pocket because of something that happened in training or in a match. I think it will be sorted out.”

Earley also had sympathy for Kerry’s David Moran who, like Earley did 10 months ago, has suffered a recurrence of the problem in the same knee.

“Dave got back playing and was back training and I was gutted for him because I know exactly what he’s going to have to go through again.”

Although both he and Hugh Lynch, Kildare’s other midfield cruciate injury victim, had been working away on their own for the past couple of months, the pair returned to training on Tuesday night where they did 80% of the work.

Earley, 34 in July, was delighted to get through the session but is being careful not to rush back.

“I remember reading Eamon O’Hara not too long ago that the knee will let you know when it’s okay and when it needs a day’s rest. You need to be careful with that. Mine wasn’t specifically cruciate. There were other issues in there that I had to be careful of so rest was as important as being in the gym. I know I’ve done the work, I’ve been in and out of the gym in the last year and a half more times than in the [rest of] my career.

“When that’s in the back of your head that the work is done, it’s all about the confidence.”

Earley sees the logic in why his Kildare County Board have decided not to appeal their €5,000 fine arising from the melee in their Division 2 game in Monaghan last Sunday week.

After Monaghan saw their fine replaced by forfeiture of home advantage for one game, there was a risk involved in Kildare contesting a similar charge, which could have seen them concede home advantage to Derry next month.

“Look, I suppose the GAA had to be seen to take action,” acknowledged Earley.

“The events of the last couple of months, between club matches and what happened out there is not acceptable and it’s not good for the public to be witnessing these things.

“It’s not good for the organisation. It was a county board decision but I think it was a good decision.

“There’s a big difference between playing Derry in Derry and playing Derry in Newbridge. We’ve gone up there a couple of times … that is a good thing and certainly we wouldn’t have liked that, especially having our home game here [in Croke Park] against Tyrone.

“We only had three home games; our only [other] home game is against Westmeath, so maybe that was a big factor in the decision.

“It’s been quite public how much we have been spending or how much we’re in the red. It’s a lot of money, and certainly as well the cost of travelling — it might cost you €5,000 as well.”

While mindful of Seanie Johnston’s transfer saga from Cavan to Kildare, Earley insists the players are focusing on their own games.

“We haven’t seen Seanie yet. He’s trained with his club in Staplestown, St Kevin’s, but we haven’t seen him in the county team.

“We are just concentrating on our own and, to be honest, lads are aware that it’s going on but fully concentrating on playing the football.

“If he arrives, he arrives; if he doesn’t, he doesn’t. If he does arrive, I know that he is going to have to work hard, the same way the rest of our lads are working.”

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