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Flan' unhappy with Boyle call

WESTMEATH football manager Pat Flanagan has expressed disappointment at the decision of first-choice defender Frank Boyle to choose inter-county hurling for the coming season.

The Lake County boss also confirmed that Boyle had not consulted with him prior to announcing that he was swapping codes.

Asked for his reaction, Flanagan told the Evening Herald: "Very surprised -- probably disappointed - that Frank has decided to not even talk about his future as far as football is concerned."

He described Boyle as a "stalwart" who had given "very good service" to the county footballers.

Boyle, who plays club football with Killucan and hurling with Raharney, has been a Westmeath regular for the past five seasons but will now be seeking to establish himself in the plans of hurling boss Brian Hanley.

There remains a question mark over the future intentions of dual players Paul Greville and Brendan Murtagh, and Flanagan took issue with the stance of Hanley who recently declared that he has "no time for dual players this year, either you want to play hurling or football."

"It would be more beneficial to a team if a player wasn't playing both codes," his football counterpart conceded. "But I am not sure Westmeath, with the population they have and decimated by emigration ... whether that is most beneficial for Westmeath football and hurling. Especially in the early part of the year, it is difficult."

Greville is currently back in Ireland after a spell abroad, but Flanagan said it was still "up in the air" whether he will be staying. The Offaly native will soon finalise his revamped backroom team, although Tom Darcy is staying on as a selector and former Offaly footballer Joe Quinn has come on board to oversee the squad's physical fitness.

Concerns about the latter were expressed after the team crashed out of the Leinster SFC in Wexford last June. Flanagan responded by saying: "Again, we have to look at all areas after the defeat by Wexford -- particularly having played particularly well in the last few games of the league."