Wee boss plea as only four fit to train
LOUTH manager Peter Fitzpatrick was forced to cancel training this week after just four members of his squad were able to take full part in the session.
And while emigration has recently robbed the Louth boss of another four players -- Darragh Maguire, Andy McDonnell, Liam Shevlin and Michael Rogers -- Fitzpatrick blames the busy club schedule for Monday's debacle that saw 14 of his squad spend time on the treatment table.
Most of Fitzpatrick's squad have been in action twice since their heavy Leinster championship defeat to Dublin a fortnight ago.
And the boss met with his county board on Tuesday to outline the seriousness of the problem facing his side.
He has since submitted a request to the county's Competitions Controls Committee (CCC) to rearrange club fixtures to help them prepare for the qualifiers.
"Either we get the leeway we need and we'll be given some time to prepare for the back door or we'll just fulfil the fixture with almost no preparation at all," Fitzpatrick warned.
"I'm not going to flog these players. They are down to play another couple of games with their clubs before the qualifiers. It's a heavy schedule and that's why you have so many players carrying knocks. Only four of them could train on Monday night. There is no point.
"I cancelled challenge games against Cavan and Laois, too. I have never seen anything like the injuries we have, and these lads need rest."
Fitzpatrick has already dug deep into his reserves -- the hero of their win over Westmeath, Daniel O'Connor, was only called up in the wave of a raft of defections. The latest wave of emigrations bring to 11 the number of Louth players who have moved abroad since January.
Louth will discover their back-door opponents on Monday morning when the draw is made on RTE radio's 'Morning Ireland' at 8.30.