Monday 18 December 2017

Clarke's illness rules out return until next year

Martin Clarke remains hopeful of making his inter-county return with Down in 2016
Martin Clarke remains hopeful of making his inter-county return with Down in 2016
Cliona Foley

Cliona Foley

Former Down All-Star Marty Clarke has revealed he has no hope of playing with Down this season but still remains hopeful of making his inter-county return in 2016.

Hopes were high in the Mournes last winter when the man who led them to an All-Ireland final in 2010 returned from playing Aussie rules but it emerged he was suffering from the energy-sapping Addison's Disease, which affects the adrenal glands.

Clarke is now on medication for his condition but told Newstalk last night that "it looks like I'll just concentrate on the club this year and won't make it back with Down until next year."

Clarke returned home from Oz after an initial three-year contract and, in his first season back, played a vital role in Down meeting Cork in the All-Ireland final.

He subsequently went back to Collingwood for another three-year spell but returned last winter when he revealed that he was suffering from the rare illness but he had retained a desire to line out for Down team this year.

Elsewhere, unbeaten Division 1 table-toppers Cork have made four changes for their trip to Donegal.

Michael Shields, Jamie O'Sullivan, Fintan Goold and Kevin O'Driscoll come in to replace Conor Dorman, Paul Kerrigan and the injured Brian O'Driscoll and Ian Maguire.

Mayo's footballers have made five changes for their clash with Monaghan.

Robbie Hennelly replaces David Clarke in goals, Cillian O'Connor and Tom Cunniffe make their first starts of the season, Patrick Durcan replaces Colm Boyle and Seamus O'Shea comes into midfield to replace the injured Mickey Conroy, with Michael Hall and Alan Freeman also losing out.

Tyrone are unchanged for their all-Ulster clash with Derry.

Mayo (SF v Monaghan): R Hennelly; T Cunniffe, K Keane, K Higgins; L Keegan, S Coen, P Durcan; D Vaughan, S O'Shea; K McLoughlin, A O'Shea, D O'Connor; M Ronaldson, C O'Connor, J Doherty.

Cork (SF v Donegal): K O'Halloran; T Clancy, M Shields, J Loughrey; J O'Sullivan, E Cadogan, T Clancy (Fermoy); F Goold, M Collins; C O'Driscoll, J O'Rourke, K O'Driscoll; C O'Neill, D O'Connor, B Hurley.

Tyrone (SF v Derry): N Morgan; A McCrory, R McNamee, C McCarron; R McNabb, J McMahon, P Harte; C Cavanagh, P McNulty; T McCann, M Donnelly, P Hughes; D McCurry, S Cavanagh, C McShane.

Irish Independent

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