Westmeath blow as Dolan heads to USA for summer
DESSIE DOLAN will not play for Westmeath this season after he confirmed that he was joining the growing list of inter-county stars who will spend the summer abroad.
The Garrycastle attacker, who is a secondary school teacher in Moate, will travel to Boston next month and is not expected to return until September.
The Lake County begin their qualifier campaign against Louth in Mullingar on Saturday.
Dolan didn't link up with the Westmeath panel in the aftermath of Garrycastle's run to the All-Ireland club final, but there was hope that he could be persuaded to return later in the season.
However, that possibility has been ruled out as Dolan heads to the USA.
"I'm just going for a break really," explained the 2004 All Star. "I'm going to spend some time over there."
Dolan plans to join the Donegal club in Boston and that precludes him from playing for Garrycastle for a minimum 60-day period.
He follows in the footsteps of Westmeath goalkeeper Gary Connaughton, who has also switched to Boston to join Wolfe Tones -- the former All Star missing out on his first game for the club after picking up an injury.
Garrycastle have secured three points out of a possible four in the group stages of the Westmeath SFC as they look to secure a fourth successive county title.
"I'll be back for school in September and, hopefully, we'll still be in the championship at that stage," said Dolan (above).
It means Dolan won't feature for Westmeath for an entire season, having been almost ever-present for the county since making his debut in 1999.
However, Dolan refused to rule out a return to the county colours in 2013. "I'd like to get back for maybe one more year with Westmeath. But we'll see how things go. It was a long year with the club, so it's just a break more than anything," he said.