Johnston to get green light for Offaly clash after new twist in transfer saga
IN a dramatic new twist, Seanie Johnston is in line to be granted an 11th-hour clearance to play for Kildare in their Leinster SFC clash with Offaly at Saturday's Central Council meeting.
Kildare are understood to have sought clarification on Johnston's eligibility after it was confirmed that he was granted his controversial transfer from Cavan before last April's rule change.
The controversial motion passed at this year's Congress means that players who make inter-county transfers will have to feature in club championship before they are eligible to line out for their adopted county, something Johnston has not yet managed.
With no club football championship games fixed until after the Lilies' involvement in the All-Ireland is over, Johnston currently faces the prospect of a summer on the sidelines to clear him for duty for his new county.
However, it has emerged that Johnston's original application was made before this year's Congress which means the new rule may not apply to him.
And the highest GAA official in the land, director-general Paraic Duffy, has confirmed that Johnston's transfer request was made before the rule changes came into effect, which means the former Cavan Gaels clubman could yet be clear to play in Portlaoise this Sunday.
"The crucial thing is with the rules this year it's a one-off transfer," Duffy confirms.
"He transferred under the old rules and that has changed somewhat since Congress."
Kildare authorities have been asked to write to Central Council to establish his eligibility and they are expected to make a decision when they meet on Saturday.
Johnston lined out for his new club St Kevin's in the Kildare Senior Football League on Sunday, scoring 0-5 as they beat Kilcock.
Last night, Kildare officials could not be contacted for comment on the situation.