Louth quartet may be forced to emigrate

FOUR high profile Louth footballers may be forced to emigrate due to the worsening economic climate.

Defender John O’Brien is believed to be heading to Australia in December while Mick Fanning, Brian White and Shane Lennon are the others who may miss out on next year’s campaign.

Fanning and O’Brien made up two-thirds of Peter Fitzpatrick’s half-back line, White formed a highly effective partnership with captain Paddy Keenan in midfield while Lennon was the side’s chief attacking threat.

The loss of any of that quartet would be a blow to the county in 2011 but the absence of all four will ravage a side attempting to bury the memories of Joe Sheridan’s controversial winning goal in the Leinster SFC final in the Croke Park last July.

The Gaelic Players Association (GPA) conducted a survey at the start of 2009 which found that 12% of inter-county players were unemployed and spokesman Sean Potts said yesterday that the current figure is not significantly higher.

Potts said “It’s around 14 to 15% but there is always a problem getting completely accurate stats and it can be a bit confused when you take students into account and everything else.’’

The GPA has been proactive in combating the effects of the downturn with bursaries, seminars and courses run on a regular basis. The latest was a sales seminar held in DCU on Friday but opportunities remain at a premium.

Dublin manager, Pat Gilroy, could also be about to lose a number of high profile names.

Full-back Rory O’Carroll has already confirmed he will miss the league campaign due to his studies in France while captain David Henry intends taking time out to travel.

There are also reports that wing-forward Niall Corkery is about to relocate to England while midfielder Darren Magee is battling to overcome a knee injury.

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