Longford face fixtures dilemma

Longford County Board must decide whether or not to proceed with a round of upcoming league fixtures after the county’s football management issued a statement threatening to resign if the games are not postponed.

Yesterday, manager Denis Connerton and his backroom team of Ciarán Fox, Enda Macken and Derek Ryan revealed they had held a crisis meeting with regard to their roles, according to the Longford Leader.

“This is the fourth time a round of league games couldn’t be completed in one day,” their statement read.

“This has hampered our preparation for the championship as we have had to cancel numerous training sessions and at this stage we unfortunately feel that we are unlikely to win the first round versus Offaly.

“Therefore, we feel we are now preparing for the qualifiers and we hope our preparation for this competition will receive greater support. Our elite players deserve better.” The difficulties in arranging training were further outlined:

“Our preparation has been made seriously difficult due to the fixing of league games involving county players on the following dates: March 16, 17, 19 and 20, April 8, 9, 10, 13, 19, 23, 26, 29 and May 1.

“After a productive training camp abroad funded by the players we met with the fixtures committee (county competitions control committee) to voice our concerns regarding players’ welfare and fatigue and pleaded that round five of the club leagues in Longford be postponed to aid our preparation for the first round match in Leinster.”

Meanwhile, the Kerry team for Sunday’s Leinster SHC debut against Carlow (Austin Stack Park, 1pm) shows two changes from the side which beat Laois in the 1B relegation play-off. Colum Harty replaces Brendan O’Leary in the half-forward line while Jack Goulding is in at corner-forward for Brandon Barrett.

KERRY (SH v Carlow): A McCabe (Kilmoyley); B Murphy (Causeway), P Kelly (Clarecastle), K Carmody (Causeway); J Diggins (Causeway), D Dineen (St Brendan’s), T Murnane (Kilmoyley); J Griffin (Lixnaw), D Collins (Kilmoyley); C Harty (Causeway), M O’Leary (Abbeydorney), S Nolan (Crotta O’Neills); J Gouding (Ballyduff), M Boyle (Ballyduff), J Egan (St Brendan’s).

Subs: M Stackpoole (Lixnaw), B Brosnan (Lixnaw), J Buckley (Lixnaw), T Casey (Causeway), P O’Connor (Kilmoyley), J Conway (Crotta O’Neills), D Fitzelle (Kilmoyley), B O’Leary (Abbeydorney), P Lucid (Ballyheigue), J O’Connor (Abbeydorney), S Weir (Crotta O’Neills).

KILDARE (SH v Wicklow): P Dermody (Éire Ó-Corrachoill); R Bergin (Naas), J Doran (Leixlip), C Gordon (Coill Dubh); S Gainey (Nass), M Moloney (Celbridge), M Grace (Coill Dubh); M Fitzgerald (Ardclough), N Ó Muinecháin (Celbridge); P Cocoman (Naas), P Divilly (Confey), R Casey (Coill Dubh); B Byrne (Naas), G Keegan (Celbridge), J Sheridan (Naas).

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