Wednesday 22 May 2019

Cavanagh: I was knocked out but I don't know if it was deliberate

Seán Cavanagh. Photo: Sportsfile
Seán Cavanagh. Photo: Sportsfile

Orla Bannon

Seán Cavanagh insists that the picture which emerged on social media at the weekend of the sickening facial injuries he sustained at the weekend was not supposed to make its way into the public domain.

The ex-Tyrone captain also claimed he will withhold judgement on whether the incident was accidental or not until he sees the video footage.

Cavanagh suffered a broken nose, concussion and other facial injuries during his club Moy's senior football championship defeat by Edendork.

"I only posted a thank-you message and then it's on WhatsApp, I don't know where it came out of. I had sent it to a friend and then all of a sudden it appears everywhere. That wasn't for public consumption but it very quickly became that way."

Cavanagh also admitted he's had "bits of dialogue" with the opposing player but was tight-lipped about whether he's received an apology.

Asked whether he believed the clash to be deliberate, Cavanagh admitted: "I honestly don't know, I haven't seen it. That's the reality of it."

The game was videoed by the Tyrone County Board who are investigating the incident, and the brawl which erupted during Stewartstown's intermediate clash with Strabane last Friday. Due process means Cavanagh is unlikely to be given access to the TV footage until the investigation is complete.

"It's like everything, everyone has an opinion on what happened but I don't have one until I see it. I was knocked out, it was a heavy knock."

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Ironically, Cavanagh was speaking at a Sport NI event in Belfast to raise aware awareness of concussion.

Reacting to the report published by the GAA on Tuesday regarding the growing impact of inter-county commitments on players, Cavanagh fears players won't realise their full potential in their working lives if the current demands continue.

"I've watched the game become much more demanding time-wise from when I started back in 2002," added the accountant.

"It's gone from a four-, five-hour week to the 31 hours which is practically a working week."

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