Blow for Johnston as CCCC turn down transfer request

Seanie Johnston is unlikely to play for Kildare this year after the GAA’s Central Competitions Control Committee yesterday turned down his transfer request to St Kevin’s, Staplestown.

The Cavan native hoped to line out for the club in their championship opener today in order to be eligible for Kildare in the All-Ireland SFC championship as per the new inter-county eligibility rule passed by Congress last month.

However, the CCCC decided to reject his application under rule 6.1 and 6.9. Rule 6.1 (ethos) states: “As the Gaelic Athletic Association is community centred, based on the allegiance of its members to their local Clubs and Counties, the Transfer and Declaration Rules in this Official Guide and in County Bye-Laws reflect that ethos. A player is considered to owe allegiance and loyalty to his Home Club and County, as defined in these Rules.”

Part of Rule 6.9 (residency) states: “A player who wishes to play for a Club in another County must apply for a transfer to the Provincial or Central Council, as appropriate. Such application shall not be granted unless the player is in permanent residence in the new County.”

Johnston is expected to take his case to the Central Appeals Committee.

However, if that action, as expected, fails St Kevin’s will likely to take the case to the Disputes Resolution Authority. Meanwhile Donegal will want to leave nothing to chance as they open their Ulster championship defence at Cavan’s Kingspan Breffni Park tomorrow. This season, the draw has been unkind to Donegal and Cavan, with Tyrone, Armagh and Derry on the same side of the lopsided pairings.

However the Donegal boss Jimmy McGuinness insists he isn’t looking beyond tomorrow’s provincial opener.

“That criteria is based on Cavan, nothing else,” McGuinness says. “There is a job to be done and we know what the job is. We know what we’re working on and what direction we want to head in with the team. That’s ongoing and the Cavan game is our first day out so we can’t expect it to be perfect. We’re hoping that our attitude will be perfect to try to make it happen. We know we’re not the finished article, but we’re working hard to head in that direction. They did make good strides last year. It would be so disappointing if we fell at the first hurdle. We’re trying to do everything in our power to get over it.”

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