Thursday 22 February 2018

Johnston transfer gets Gaels green light

Daragh O Conchuir and Cliona Foley

Cavan Gaels have given their blessing to Seanie Johnston's proposed switch to Kildare club St Kevin's -- and by extension a potential career with the Lilywhites -- after signing the star forward's transfer form.

This does not mean the transfer automatically gets the green light, however, as the Central Competitions Control Committee must still hold a hearing -- the Cavan County Board raised concerns about Johnston's declared permanent residence in Straffan.

The Gaels management committee met on Wednesday night to discuss the matter, and decided to stick with their policy of not blocking any attempted transfer out of the club.

The club issued a statement on Twitter saying that "it is the policy of Cavan Gaels not to stand in the way of transfer requests from any of our players".

When contacted, Cavan Gaels secretary Damien Walsh was tight-lipped: "We won't be saying anymore." It is understood, however, that the form has been signed and was dispatched to Croke Park yesterday afternoon.

With the transfer not being supported by the Cavan board, Johnston can expect to hear from the CCCC in the coming week as to when they will hold a hearing. He will be asked to provide proof of permanent residence to the CCCC, who will then decide if the transfer meets GAA regulations.

Elsewhere, the man who led Belfast's St Gall's to the 2010 All-Ireland club SFC final has suddenly stepped down, describing his position as "increasingly untenable".

Lenny Harbinson said he had "regrettably tendered my resignation" as manager because he was not getting the necessary support from the club's administrators.

"My management team and I were conscious that a complete review of the previous three years' set-up was required," Harbinson said. "However, based on previous experience, it is highly unlikely that our ambitions will receive the necessary support from our internal administration."

It is understood that Harbinson had sought new equipment and increased support, including the availability of a flood-lit pitch for training, and was unhappy with the club's response.

Tyrone boss Mickey Harte has made two changes to his McKenna Cup final team for tomorrow's Division 2 opener against Kildare. Colm Cavanagh picked up a rib injury last weekend that looks set to keep him out for six weeks and he is replaced by Joe McMahon in midfield.

Tyrone alternate their 'keepers with Pascal McConnell in for John Devine. Ryan McMenamin returns to the bench for the first time since the All-Ireland quarter-final defeat to Dublin last year.

Conor Counihan has named a near full-strength Cork side for their trip to Armagh, with Colm O'Neill back starting at corner-forward.

Galway boss Alan Mulholland has named three debutants -- 'keeper Manus Breathnach, Keith Kelly and Milltown's Michael Martin -- in a side that includes 10 of their All-Ireland-winning U-21s for their trip to Derry.

Daryl Flynn will captain Kildare as despite speculation that John Doyle was going to make his seasonal return, he is not in the Lilywhites' starters.

GALWAY (SF v Derry) -- M Breathnach; C Forde, F Hanley, K Kelly; G Bradshaw, J Duane, G O'Donnell; T Flynn, F Ó Curraoin; J Ryan, P Conroy, M Hehir; M Martin, C Bane, D Cummins.

CORK (SF v Armagh) -- K O'Halloran; R Carey, M Shields, E Cadogan; N O'Leary, G Canty, P Kissane; A O'Connor, P O'Neill; F Goold, P Kelly, C O'Driscoll; C O'Neill, D O'Connor, P Kerrigan.

TYRONE (SF v Kildare) -- P McConnell; A McCrory, Justin McMahon, PJ Quinn; C McCarron, P Harte, D Carlin; M Murphy, Joe McMahon; Matthew Donnelly, P Hughes, M Penrose; O Mulligan, Mark Donnelly, Stephen O'Neill.

KILDARE -- S Connolly; P Kelly, C Fitzpatrick, O Lyons; B Flanagan, T O'Neill, E O'Flaherty; D Flynn, R Sweeney; T Moolick, M Conway, P O'Neill; J Kavanagh, T O'Connor, A Smith.

Limerick (SF v Leitrim) -- B Scanlon; D Quaide, J McCarthy, L O'Dwyer; J Riordan, B Fitzpatrick, P Ranahan; S Lucey, S Buckley; D Treacy, E O'Connor, J Cooke; G Collins, S O'Carroll, I Ryan.

Irish Independent

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