Sport Gaelic Football

Saturday 18 November 2017

Time running out for Johnston to make switch as CCCC delay decision

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Time appears to have run out for Seanie Johnston to feature for Kildare in the opening round of the Leinster football championship after the GAA's new Central Competition Controls Committee (CCCC) opted not to make a decision on his transfer request this week.

It had been anticipated after meetings on Monday and again on Tuesday -- which Johnston attended -- that a decision would be imminent.

But the CCCC have now left a decision over until next Monday at the earliest, which leaves the former Cavan player in a quandary as new transfer rules governing inter-county moves kick in after being passed at Congress.

Johnston has to play with St Kevin's first before he can play for Kildare. St Kevin's are playing Leixlip in the first round of the Kildare SFC tomorrow night, but with no second round fixtures in the pipeline, Johnston still wouldn't be eligible for the Offaly match on June 17, or any subsequent matches, unless the transfer is cleared and he gets senior championship game time with St Kevin's.

The delay in reaching a decision on the request, his second to the CCCC this year, has been a source of great frustration to Johnston, his intended club St Kevin's and Kildare, with whom he has been training generally.

But the manner in which this is being drawn out may now be serving to galvanise Johnston (right), St Kevin's and Kildare instead of breaking their will to see it through.

Additional information on his residence in Straffan has been sought by the new CCCC, which is understood to have included wage slips and other personal information, way beyond what might be asked of any regular inter-county transfer.

Even up to Wednesday, Johnston was supplying documentation to the CCCC in the belief that a decision prior to the match tomorrow night would be made.

The St Kevin's club are already on the record as stating that they will take his case to the Disputes Resolution Authority (DRA) if it fails at CCCC and again to the Central Appeals Committee (CAC).

In recent years Kildare do not normally play championship games in the middle of the inter-county season, so it will be interesting to see if a second round is fixed to accommodate eligibility requirements for Johnston in the event of him being successful with one of the three bodies.

Johnston has been attempting to transfer to St Kevin's from Cavan Gaels since the middle of January. Before that, he had requested a transfer directly to Kildare without moving from Cavan Gaels. This was ruled out of order.

Meanwhile, Kildare launched their 'Thousandaire' scheme in Newbridge last night, aimed at helping to alleviate the financial troubles that the county board has found itself in.

Irish Independent

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