Dessie Farrell rubbishes talk of under-21 boycott of Dublin SFC action
Dessie Farrell has rubbished speculation that his Dublin U21 footballers were planning a blanket boycott of this week’s club championship matches in the capital.
“That’s absolutely not the case,” Farrell told The Herald, insisting there will be “no excuses” from his squad ahead of tomorrow week’s All-Ireland U21 FC final against Galway in Tullamore.
The club fixtures stand-off between Dublin county board and its U21 squad has threatened to damage All-Ireland preparations, but Farrell said the CCC had made its decision to proceed “and we just need to accept that”.
The U21 boss added: “Even before that final decision was made, the clubs were willing to co-operate in terms of moving fixtures around or trying to facilitate, because they understand the position their players were in.
“Okay, so that didn’t work out. And now what you’re seeing is that clubs again are supporting and facilitating and, where possible, they won’t be playing players.
“Now, not every club is in that position because some of the games are trickier assignments and they will need their players – and that’s fine as well. But I think overall we’ll manage it … with the support and co-operation of club officials and club managers.
“The players are dealing with it in a very mature way and they’re getting on with it. It’s far from ideal,” he accepted. “It’s just part and parcel of the whole club-and-county thing and we’re just going to get on with it now. Because you could end up dwelling on it and that’s not particularly productive.”
Farrell’s hopes the players would emerge “without any injuries” where hit last night as Ballyboden’s St Enda’s Shane Clayton hobbled off.
Dublin U21s Callum Pearson, Tony O’Sullivan and Clayton all lined out for their clubs, with the ’Boden defender replaced by fellow Dublin U21 Colm Basquel.