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Cavan Gaels challenge Johnston move

SEANIE Johnston's protracted transfer request to a club in Kildare has taken another twist with concern now raised by his club over the player's proposed move.

Cavan Gaels had originally opted not to challenge any aspect of Johnston's move to St Kevin's in Kildare when he submitted his first request in January.

But the latest request has come back from Cavan to Croke Park with concerns raised by both the county board and his current club over the move.

Clubs and county boards can't raise 'objections' in these matters, but they can raise concerns and it is understood that the Central Competitions Controls Committee (CCCC) will have to examine a new concern from Cavan Gaels over Johnston's permanent residency.

The transfer form came back from Cavan late last week, just hours before Congress voted to change the rules governing inter-county transfers.

A player must now play club championship with the club he is moving to before he can declare for the county that the club is in.

The success of this motion closes the loophole that allowed Rory Gallagher's transfer to a club in Cavan in 2007, play for the county but return to St Brigid's in Dublin in the same year without ever playing championship for the club in Cavan he had originally declared for.

In Johnston's case, he would have to play with St Kevin's first in the Kildare championship before he played for Kildare, if the transfer was passed.

The CCCC are not expected to meet on the issue until Monday of next week.

Johnston is understood to have built up a stronger case to determine residency in Straffan that incorporates toll receipts along the M3 in accordance with his travel routines.

It is Johnston's third attempt to declare for Kildare since Val Andrews left him out of the Cavan squad in October.

Ironically, Andrews has now left Cavan after a meeting of players last week raised a number of issues. Andrews had alleged there was a vote among players to remove him but he has since reconciled that no such vote took place.

Terry Hyland is expected to be confirmed as manager but may elect not to invite Johnston back to the squad.

Irish Independent