Sport Gaelic Football

Friday 22 September 2017

Kildare would welcome Johnston like one of their own -- Doyle

Cliona Foley

Cliona Foley

KILDARE football captain John Doyle says their players will treat Seanie Johnston like one of their own if his protracted inter-county transfer request ever goes through.

"Any man that comes in to our set-up and is involved, no matter where he's from, is seen as being treated the same as everyone else," Doyle said.

Former Cavan player Johnston was still in the dark last night over his application to transfer to Kildare club St Kevin's. He won an appeal last week but the matter was referred back to the GAA's Central Competition Control Committee (CCCC).

The CCCC had their regular weekly meeting in Croke Park yesterday but did not release any decision yet on his case. Even if Johnston's inter-club transfer is approved he will have to line out in a Kildare club championship match before he is eligible for the county, due to a rule introduced in Congress last month.

It now looks unlikely that the Kildare County Board will bring forward a round of county football championship fixtures to facilitate him in time for their Leinster SFC opener (versus Offaly on June 17).

draw

The draw for the second round of the Kildare football championships is being made in Newbridge tomorrow night. No dates have yet been fixed for the second round, which was not expected to take place until Kildare were knocked out of inter-county championship action this summer.

There has been speculation that the second round -- or even just the game involving St Kevin's -- could be brought forward, but this is not expected to happen.

There has even been speculation that Johnston might even line out in a local hurling championship game in order to meet the regulation, but local sources have denied this.

If Kildare's footballers beat Offaly, they are due to meet the winners of Meath versus Carlow in the Leinster semi-final on the weekend of July 1.

Doyle said the controversy has not been a distraction for Kildare, who have had a lengthy wait since their Division 2 victory for their championship opener.

"It is something going on outside of what we are doing," he said. "Seanie is being linked the whole time with Kildare but we just have to keep doing our business.

"Personally, I don't see the hustle and bustle that it brings. It's not the first player to move, for whatever reason. Obviously, there's rules there.

"If you abide by them you're allowed to transfer and, if you don't, you're not. I can't see any grey area there but with the GAA there's a lot of grey areas seemingly, so that's where it's at."

Irish Independent

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