US transfer system proving a 'disaster' for Longford manager Davis
Longford boss Padraic Davis has bemoaned the transfer system to the US that means he will be without star midfielder Darren Gallagher for their Leinster championship opener against Kildare in Tullamore on Sunday (4.0).
Gallagher starred during the midlanders' Division 3 league campaign with Davis describing the Granard man as "one of the best midfielders in the country".
Gallagher isn't set to leave for the US until next month but the strict regulations around transfers for county players mean he can't take part this weekend.
And Davis, who has also lost Dessie Reynolds, Rian Brady and Peter Lynn to the US for the championship, branded the regulations a "disaster" for counties like Longford.
"It's a difficult one. I think the ruling on it is a complete and utter disaster. For instance, Dessie Reynolds wanted to go to New York this year because he has club-mates and family out there, which means he couldn't play one National League game for Longford. That's the ruling of the New York board.
"The San Francisco and Boston board and the Chicago board have a ruling whereby you can play National League but you can't play championship, so we have Rian Brady and Peter Lynn and Darren Gallagher all going to either the North American board or San Francisco and they're not going until the end of June but none can play against (Kildare).
"So there's something drastically wrong there between the American boards. I could easily get three championship games out of Darren Gallagher, Rian Brady and Lynn. It's very, very unfortunate.
"Darren Gallagher played his last game with us on March 24 and he's not flying until June 29. It makes absolutely no sense at all.
"We're robbed of him, he's robbed of three months of football here at the business end of the year.
"For me that seems bizarre and it's certainly something that has to be looked at. What the relationship is like between the boards, I don't know. It's an unfortunate situation for us because of that."
Davis believes the provincial championships need a shake-up if they are to be retained.
"Last year we drew Dublin, Kildare and Meath in the championship.
"They're the three championship games we have - traditionally the three strongest teams in Leinster.
"And if Kildare can account for Wicklow, and we were to account for Kildare, we'd have Dublin in the next round. So two years in a row we had the three strongest teams in Leinster and (then) the two strongest teams in Leinster."