Wednesday 28 September 2016

No point in stopping a player from going abroad for the summer - McHale

Published 12/05/2016 | 02:30

Rosommon’s Conor Daly, seen here against Down last year, has opted out of playing for the county in the Championship. Photo: Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Rosommon’s Conor Daly, seen here against Down last year, has opted out of playing for the county in the Championship. Photo: Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

Roscommon coach Liam McHale insists he would never try to stop a young player from spending the summer in the US.

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The Rossies recently lost the versatile Conor Daly from their panel after he announced his intention to head Stateside.

Padraig Pearses clubman Daly had featured regularly for the Rossies in their progressive spring campaign that saw them reach the League semi-finals in their first year back in the top flight.

And having headed for Boston and Chicago during his own playing days, former Mayo star McHale can understand the lure of a summer across the Atlantic.

"We are really disappointed because the three Daly (brothers) are serious athletes," he said.

"Conor pulled out two weeks ago and said he was going to the States. We are a bit disappointed but if that's what he wants to do . . . he's a student, a young lad."

"I did it three or four times myself so I'm not going to be a hypocrite and say they shouldn't do it.

"It was easier for us because if you lost the first round of the Championship there was no qualifier and your phone would be hopping on Monday morning.

"These fellas are getting good offers, they are good footballers. I personally had the time of my life any time I did it so I would never (stop them)."

"They will be playing football, the good guys will still be doing a bit of lifting and playing a fairly competitive game every weekend.

"We are disappointed because we can't afford to be losing fellas like Conor but at the same time we understand that if that's what he needs to do then so be it."

Roscommon travel to Leitrim on Sunday week looking to bounce back from their scare away to New York last time out, with McHale agreeing that the Exiles might have at least snatched a draw.

"They were unfortunate not to get a draw," McHale said, reflecting on the one-point win.

"They deserved a draw, they had a goal chance near the end which they drove over the bar. So we were very glad to get out of that."

And while Roscommon will be expected to improve significantly from that game for the trip to Carrick-on-Shannon, they'll have to face Leitrim without a significant number of players.

"Cathal (Compton) is out with a groin strain," said McHale.

"Cian (Connolly) is out, depending on how far we go but he has to have an operation on his jaw next week and he is going to be out for between eight to ten weeks after that. That's a tough one on him.

"Ian Kilbride is a big loss, people seem to have forgotten about Ian.

"We miss Ian, he will be out for another month. We miss Ian's physicality around the middle of the field for sure.

"Enda Smith is the same, we miss his athleticism."

Irish Independent

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