Athlone Town Stadium.

Athlone Town confirm club is 'most certainly not in crisis' following speculation

There were reports that the dressing room had split following an incident involving the captain and manager.

ATHLONE TOWN HAVE released a statement in response to recent media speculation that the club is turmoil following a dressing room split.

It was reported that club captain Niall Scullion walked out of training last week after an argument with newly-appointed Portuguese manager Ricardo Monsanto.

There were also further rumours of disagreements within the club since Monsato took the reins as manager earlier this month, with Colin Fortune appointed as head coach even though he was given the management job permanently just over three months ago.

The statement reads: “Following recent media speculation concerning the club Athlone Town AFC would like to confirm a number of matters.

“Firstly the club would like to state that first team captain Niall Scullion will lead the side out against Shelbourne in our League of Ireland First Division tie on Saturday March 25th.

“The club would also like to state the dressing room is not split and the club is most certainly not in crisis.

“Everyone at the club is determined to get back to winning ways after our recent unfortunate reversals.

“We hope that this dispels several misleading rumours including that Niall has left or is in some sort of protracted stand off with the club. Niall is a most respected player at out club who leads by example. He has trained with his team mates since he recovered from injury.

“In relation to a recent article featuring the club and Niall, we would like to point out that neither Niall nor the club were contacted, directly or indirectly by that media outlet about any issue concerning his availability for selection.

“The club, as has been recently reported, has embarked on a new departure which has seen coaches and players come in from abroad. Despite commentary to the contrary we would also like to repeat that there has been no confusion over individual’s roles within the club nor among members of the first team.

“Finally the club can confirm it has sanctioned one member of the playing staff for a breach of club discipline. However we will not be commenting any further on what is an internal matter.”

Athlone Town host Shelbourne tomorrow night, and will be looking to get their campaign back on track following two consecutive defeats to Cobh Ramblers and Longford Town.

Meanwhile, Shelbourne are in seventh place and come into tomorrow’s fixture off the back of a back-to-back draws with Waterford FC and Cobh Ramblers.

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