High-profile inter-county players who had intended travelling this year could be back in the frame for their teams should the Championship go ahead.
Either of their own volition or on the recommendation of Irish embassies, a number of footballers and hurlers have returned from travelling in recent weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic. Among them are Tipperary’s 2017 All-Star Michael Quinlivan and Clare’s 2019 All-Star nominee Jamie Malone.
Both forwards looked set to be unavailable for selection this summer but are back in the country for the foreseeable future.
Tipperary’s Liam McGrath has also opted out for the season and chosen to remain in Australia.
As well as Malone, Clare manager Colm Collins may also be able to call on star midfielder Gary Brennan as he and his wife, Limerick camogie player Niamh Mulcahy’s plans to travel are in doubt as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We were supposed to be in America these two weeks coming up for Easter,” said the former Banner captain. “Then our plan was to be in Asia for the summer but, look, we don’t know what the story is at the moment. It’s highly unlikely that will be the case but there’s nothing official at the moment. We said we would try something different this year.
“We had both been on the go for a few years on the county scene and we said we would try and go for a bit of travelling but it’s not to be. There are a lot more people in worse situations than ourselves so we won’t be giving out.”
Collins hasn’t contacted Brennan and the Clondegad man doesn’t expect to hear from him until matters are clearer. “I haven’t spoken to him. He knows I’m tuned out for this year. Nobody knows what the situation is. If it turns out that I’m definitely not travelling and the Championship is going ahead maybe I will get a call off Colm.”
Brennan, an Irish and PE teacher in St Flannan’s College, is keeping busy preparing students for exams as much as he is doing it remotely. “I’m doing a few classes a week and my students are sending me plenty of work to be correcting so that’s a great complaint to have.”
The global crisis, not to mention the possible changes to the season, could result in several players, who didn’t feature during the Allianz Leagues, featuring in the Championship.
Among those inter-county footballers who had planned travelling in 2020 included Seán O’Donoghue (Clare), Mark White (Cork), Mark Griffin (Kerry), Darragh Treacy and Seán McSweeney (Limerick), Josh Keane (Tipperary), Stephen Attride (Laois), Dara McVeety and Conor Moynagh (Cavan), Peter Cooke and Danny Cummins (Galway) and Darren Quinn, David McGivney, Aidan McElligott and John Keegan (Longford).