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With only half of panel training, Brian Dooher says Tyrone may be unable to fulfil Kerry semi-final

Tyrone are seeking a further postponement to allow their players fully recover from the virus.

Brian Dooher.
Brian Dooher.
Image: Tommy Grealy/INPHO

TYRONE’S JOINT-MANAGER Brian Dooher has starkly laid bare the extent of Tyrone’s Covid issues, saying only half of his panel are presently training and thus they will struggle to field a team against Kerry in their refixed All-Ireland semi-final. 

Dooher says Tyrone’s withdrawal from the championship is a possibility. 

Tyrone’s Covid outbreak led the GAA to postpone the Kerry semi-final by six days to Saturday week, 21 August, with the All-Ireland final also delayed, to Saturday 4 September.

Tyrone, however, want the GAA to push the semi-final back by another week, to allow adequate time for their players to return from self-isolation and regain fitness. 

“We requested two weeks [postponement] based on our experience of Covid to date. To get players integrated back into the panel, having recovered from Covid, is a very significant timeline”, Dooher told BBC Northern Ireland. 

“All medical evidence points towards that and anything we’ve seen to date reinforces that. We believe we still struggle to field a team on Saturday week, given how the situation stands at the minute.” 

Echoing earlier comments by Tyrone chairman Michael Kerr, Dooher says Tyrone’s withdrawal from the All-Ireland championship remains a possibility. 

“There’s a possibility definitely. We’d like to be in a position where we can field a team and give it our best, but at the minute I can’t say for certain if that’s going to happen.

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“It’s not a decision we’ll take lightly, we’ll base it on all the facts we have. How the players react, how they’re training.

“We want to fulfil the fixture and we’ll do everything we can to do that, but we’ll be guided by the health and wellbeing of our players principally and the advice from our medical team.” 

 

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Gavin Cooney

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