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Louth squad will hold talks with officials to end dispute over expenses

SENIOR members of the Louth football squad will meet with the county board tonight in a bid to resolve a row over player expenses.

GPA representatives Paddy Keenan and Aaron Hoey will meet with the county's top brass this evening after it emerged some players hadn't been reimbursed fully when star forward Darren Clarke took to Twitter to voice his displeasure at the situation.

Louth GAA have invested heavily in their training facility at Darver and also have plans in place to build a stadium in the grounds of Dundalk IT.

And while those projects have put a strain on finances, a county board source insisted that while a "small number" of players had not received expenses, the issue would be resolved in the coming days ahead of their must-win Allianz NFL Division 2 clash with Meath in Navan.

Clarke wouldn't comment further on the issue yesterday, but the 28-year-old has impressed so far in the league. Having initially struggled to establish himself under Peter Fitzpatrick,he has been the Wee County's leading light this campaign, hitting 1-31 across six games.

However, the St Sylvester's, Malahide clubman revealed that he is playing on "borrowed time" with a knee injury meaning he will need a knee replacement in later life.

slagging

"There is basically no cartilage in the right knee. The surgeon says I'm on borrowed time. I have been managing it right with the Louth physio and he has been doing a really good job on it.

"I don't train every night but I do gym work and my own cycling and swimming. It's been working very well this year. I've been able to keep the fitness levels and sharpness up.

"But it's not ideal. (The surgeon) doesn't really know how long it will last. The boys are slagging me calling me Ledley King."

Despite some encouraging results, only a win in Navan will see Louth avoid an immediate return to Division 3.

"It has been a topsy-turvy league. We had a good win against Westmeath and got a draw in Salthill against Galway... it is do or die, it is a case of going to Navan and win or else get relegated so we have to be prepared for the fight.

"It would be nice to beat Meath in the game but that it is because it is so important. It just so happens to be Meath that we could be putting down and, well, so be it. There might be a slight pay-back for the 2010 (Leinster final) if you want to look at it that way but we are just looking at staying in Division 2.

"And if we were looking at any other team we would be looking at it the same way. We are going to go to Navan with expectation."

Irish Independent