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Fennell has served his time in limbo: Pillar

FORMER Dublin manager Paul Caffrey has added his voice to the clamour for Eamon Fennell to be allowed to transfer from O'Toole's to neighbouring club St Vincent's.

Fennell's case is set to go before the Disputes Resolution Authority (DRA) once a date can be agreed between the relevant parties (possibly next Monday) after O'Toole's refused to sign his transfer request and a county board vote which came down to chairman, Gerry Harrington's casting vote.

Describing the situation as "a mess", Caffrey, who initially gave Fennell his introduction to intercounty football, was adamant that as an amateur player and one who had already sat out a year of club football on the understanding that he would subsequently be allowed leave O'Toole's, Fennell should be granted his transfer to the Marino club.

"I can understand both sides of the argument but, in limbo is not the place this should be," said Caffrey yesterday.

"While I understand and empathise with clubs who've brought up players, if a player makes a decision that, for his own reasons he wishes to transfer, then I think that has to be acceded to," stressed Caffrey.


"Eamonn Fennell has sat out for a year. His understanding was that if he sat out for a year and sacrificed that year he would be entitled to transfer and I think it's very unfair that he can't play," Caffrey added.

"Fennell's best years, as a midfielder, are in the next three or four years and he needs to be able to play football with a club, go and play football and get into this number 9 jersey for Dublin and hold onto it for the summer."

However, Caffrey believes the affair has made Fennell a stronger player and described the former Dublin under-21 as the "heir apparent" to Ciarán Whelan.

"Sometimes adversity can make you much tougher and I think that's probably done that to Eamonn. He looks a much tougher guy now," Caffrey stated.

"Who's to say Eamonn Fennell won't turn into an icon in Dublin football over the next ten years," added former Dublin manager Caffrey.