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Lilywhites deny training on holiday

KIERAN McGeeney yesterday emphatically rubbished accusations that he and his Kildare team broke the moratorium on collective training in the months of November and December by organising a training camp on their pre-Christmas squad trip to America.

The Lilywhites spent two weeks stateside, including a trip to San Francisco while they also played a match against New York on December 5th in the Gaelic Grounds before returning to Ireland.


The Kildare County Board received a special dispensation from the GAA to play the match despite the ban on collective intercounty activity in the final two months of the season but now a further suggestion was made in a Sunday newspaper that McGeeney had conducted a number of training sessions during the holiday. "If anyone wants to visit the bars in New York and San Francisco they will find out they were frequented quite frequently," said McGeeney. "Anyone who knows me knows if I was on a training holiday that wouldn't have happened."

McGeeney also clarified Alan Smith's status within the panel after local media reports over the weekend claiming the All Star nominee had been dropped from the panel due to his manager's dissatisfaction with his commitment.

Further fuel was added to the speculation on Sunday when Smith was left out of the panel to play Louth in Kildare's O'Byrne Cup semi-final defeat.

However, McGeeney stated yesterday that Smith had asked for "time off" from training and playing with his county and no return date had been earmarked. He explained: "He just asked for a while off and we said work away. It's up to himself. When a player asks for time you have to wait and see."