Thursday 23 March 2017

Don't do it, Seanie -- you might regret it

Eamonn Sweeney

You can excuse Seanie Johnston for getting the hump when Val Andrews axed him from the Cavan panel. It was news to most of us that Cavan have sufficient attacking talent to dispense with one of their best players. For all the talk of a youth policy, the 27-year-old is not fit for the scrapheap just yet.

But jumping ship to Kildare is hardly the answer. Johnston isn't the first outstanding player to find himself out of favour. And he hasn't been as badly treated as Eoin Kelly, who wasn't just axed by Waterford manager Michael Ryan but then had to put up with the boss going into unnecessary detail about the decision. Ryan's blather gave smug hacks the chance to wave an admonitory finger at one of the Déise's greatest servants. It doesn't bode well for his reign.

These things happen. But it would be a pity if Johnston's ire took him away not just from Cavan but from his club Cavan Gaels who, understandably, are reluctant to back the player's case for a move at inter-county level.

A decade or so ago, Declan Browne was mentioned in connection with a possible move to Kildare. Browne was perhaps the finest forward in the game at the time but opted to spend his career with a Tipperary team who enjoyed virtually no success. It was a no-brainer. Declan Browne was a Tipperary man as Kevin O'Brien was a Wicklow man and Mickey Kearins a Sligo man. Seanie Johnston is a Cavan man. Moving to another county in a fit of pique goes against everything the GAA stands for.

The last thing Seanie Johnston wants to do is end up like Rory Gallagher who cut himself adrift and spent the rest of his career being spurned by the big county he wanted to play for while Fermanagh enjoyed great days in his absence. Storming out is never the answer.

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