Mayo forward to be club's latest country recruit
MAYO forward Conor Mortimer is set to become the latest inter-county footballer to transfer his club allegiance to the capital -- destination Parnell's.
The ambitious northside outfit have raised eyebrows in recent years by recruiting a handful of high-profile footballers from rural counties, and now Mortimer is poised to join the likes of Laois duo Colm Begley and MJ Tierney as well as Armagh's Johnny Murtagh and Wexford's Aindreas Doyle for the 2012 season.
Parnell's chairman Frank Gleeson confirmed a transfer is imminent when contacted by the Evening Herald. Mortimer -- sidelined from the Mayo team this year as he recovered from cruciate surgery -- will not be involved in Parnell's current assault on Dublin SFC glory as he has already played club championship with his native Shrule/Glencorrib in Mayo.
"Conor has moved up to Dublin and he is actually working in Dublin now, so it's 99 per cent that he will be with Parnell's for next season," Gleeson said.
Rumours of a possible switch first circulated in late July, although the Parnell's chairman said at the time that Mayo's second-highest scorer of the past 50 years was "not part" of their plans for 2011.
However, presuming there is no transfer application hitch now, he will be there in 2012 and Gleeson said he would be "of enormous help to our club".
This will entail both off the field and on it. Gleeson explained that Mortimer has finished college, qualifying with a Masters in sports management from Jordanstown, and he will be managing a members' gym when Parnell's open their new clubhouse in January.
"He has qualifications in areas that we need qualifications," the Parnell's chief said. "In joining us, he is helping us to develop Gaelic sports in the area from a coaching perspective and also from a club business perspective. He will be operating a members' gym and we need high quality people running that. The football is a bonus really."
Gleeson also rejected the criticism frequently levelled at his club in recent years over a recruitment policy that has seen them enlist four Laois footballers -- Begley, Tierney, Darren Rooney and Colm Parkinson, who has subsequently rejoined Portlaoise -- as well as Murtagh and Doyle.
"I would be very clear on this one," he said. "Inter-county players are coming to Parnell's because they want to be a part of our success, on and off the field. Our job is to grow Gaelic games in Coolock/Artane. These people are steeped in success and want to be part of a club that wants to do something. I don't target anyone."
According to Gleeson, one thing he can do is source a couple of jobs for players but he insisted this was going on in other clubs for years, concluding: "Every team that plays in the top level in Dublin has a number of country players."
Parnell's are currently preparing for a Dublin SFC fourth round clash with St Sylvester's following their eight-point win over Raheny.