Crawford ends Meath career
Published 20/12/2011 | 05:00
Meath midfielder Nigel Crawford has confirmed he will not be part of his county's plans in 2012.
Crawford has admitted his inter-county days are at an end after 12 seasons, WRITES COLM KEYS.
"Retirement is not a word I like to use, but I won't be involved with Meath in 2012, let's put it that way," he stated.
Crawford was Meath's captain when they claimed the 2010 Leinster football title in hugely controversial circumstances, with a last-gasp goal from Joe Sheridan that shouldn't have been allowed.
Prior to Graham Geraghty's return to the squad last May after a three-year absence, Crawford was the only remaining member of the last All-Ireland-winning Meath team in 1999.
There was speculation over his inter-county future last August when he was one of three players who weren't involved in interviews with the outgoing management as they looked ahead to 2012.
Goalkeeper Brendan Murphy, who has since been confirmed as the new goalkeeping coach, and Anthony Moyles were not part of those talks either. Moyles has not confirmed his retirement but won't be part of the Meath set-up in 2012 either.
Crawford and Moyles have both been involved with Meath since 1999 and 2000 and they struggled to nail down a place during Seamus McEnaney's first year in charge.
Crawford suggested last August that Meath had gone backwards during McEnaney's first year in charge but feels that his comments shouldn't have been taken as a criticism of the management.
Murphy's move to a coaching role, coupled with Paddy O'Rourke's departure from the squad, has prompted a recall for David Gallagher, who hasn't been involved in a championship game for a number of years.
Peadar Byrne has also been left out of the Meath squad after being recalled last season when a lengthy suspension expired.