James Loughrey admits he tried to keep his decision to live in Cork as quiet as possible so as to avoid a repeat of the controversy that surrounded Seanie Johnston’s transfer saga from Cavan to Kildare.
The former Antrim defender, named in the team to face Dublin tomorrow, upped sticks in March to live in Mallow in March where his girlfriend is from and then picked up a job outside Cork city before being invited into the Cork panel.
Although his circumstances were entirely different to Johnston’s, Loughrey was cautious about his move to Cork being made public and didn’t want the Antrim County Board doing anything to convince him to stay.
Describing the last six months as “the most hectic of my life”, he told BBC Northern Ireland: “A lot of my friends, a lot of people would know I’m not the type of guy, the ‘what can you offer me kind of guy’ sort of thing. I hate that kind of idea.
“In other counties, that would be the case and fair play to those who get helped out. They do well and the county and the GAA can help them out in certain ways of life. I never wanted to go down that line.”
He added: “The Seanie Johnston thing got blown out of proportion and I hated the thought of a county player moving, even though I had no intention of playing for Cork. I was just moving clubs at that time.”
Loughrey, who explained he moved as his girlfriend couldn’t get a job in Belfast, said he thought Conor Counihan’s initial phone-call to call him into the panel was a hoax.
The 27-year-old admitted he gave Colm Cooper too much respect in the Munster final and underestimated his right foot — “20 minutes into the game, I realised his right foot was better than mine,” said the half-back.
Meanwhile, Cillian O’Connor and Donal Vaughan have been named in the Mayo team to face Donegal on Sunday, replacing Darren Coen and Chris Barrett, respectively, from the team that started the Connacht final win over London.
MAYO (SF v Donegal): R Hennelly (Breaffy); T Cunniffe (Castlebar), G Cafferkey (Ballina), K Higgins (Ballyhaunis); L Keegan (Westport), D Vaughan (Ballinrobe), C Boyle (Davitts); A O’Shea (Breaffy), S O’Shea (Breaffy); K McLoughlin (Knockmore), R Feeney (Castlebar), A Dillon (Ballintubber); C O’Connor (Ballintubber), A Freeman (Aghamore), A Moran (Ballaghaderreen).
TYRONE (SF v Monaghan): P McConnell (Newtownstewart); D Carlin (Killyclogher), C Clarke (Omagh), C McCarron (Dromore); C McGinley (Errigal Ciaran), P Harte (Errigal Ciaran), C Gormley (Carrickmore); C Cavanagh (Moy), S Cavanagh (Moy); Matthew Donnelly (Trillick), Mark Donnelly (Carrickmore), Joe McMahon (Omagh); D McCurry (Edendork), S O’Neill (Clann na nGael); M Penrose (Carrickmore).
MONAGHAN (SF v Tyrone): R Beggan (Scotstown); K Duffy (Latton), D Wylie (Ballybay), C Walshe (Doohamlet); V Corey (Clontibret), N McAdam (Monaghan Harps), D Mone (Clontibret); O Lennon (Latton), D Hughes (Scotstown); P Finlay (Ballybay),S Gollogly (Carrickmacross), D Malone (Castleblayney Faughs); P Donaghy (Donaghmoyne), K Hughes (Scotstown), C McManus (Clontibret).
DUBLIN (SF v Cork):S Cluxton (Parnells); J Cooper (Na Fianna), R O’Carroll (Kilmacud Crokes), K O’Brien (Naoimh Mearnog); J McCarthy (Ballymun Kickhams), G Brennan (St Vincent’s), J McCaffrey (Clontarf); M Dara Macauley (Ballyboden St Enda’s), C O’Sullivan (Kilmacud Crokes); P Flynn (Fingallians), C Kilkenny (Castleknock), D Connolly (St Vincent’s); P Mannion (Kilmacud Crokes), E O’Gara (Synge St Templeogue), B Brogan (Oliver Plunketts).
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