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Dublin: 15°C Tuesday 29 September 2020
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'He had no symptoms and he kept fit and well. He did come back to play for us'

Dublin’s Brian Fenton talks about the Covid-19 case that affected his club, Raheny.

Brian Fenton will be in action with the Dublin footballers later this year.
Brian Fenton will be in action with the Dublin footballers later this year.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

DUBLIN STAR BRIAN Fenton has praised the county board and his club, Raheny for how they handled a positive Covid-19 case in their senior men’s team earlier this year.

A Raheny player tested positive for the virus in August, leading to their Group 4 SFC clash with St Oliver Plunkett/Eoghan Ruadh being postponed.

The tie took place later that month, with Fenton’s side sealing a three-point win to advance to the quarter-finals where they were eventually defeated by the reigning champions, Ballyboden.

Reflecting on the experience of having a positive case in their club, Fenton says that all appropriate measures were taken to ensure everyone’s safety.

“Luckily, it was an isolated case in many ways,” he explains.

“I think it was the first in the Dublin club scene – particularly at senior level. But I think lads are very conscious at the time do you know, with work – a couple of lads would have got tested.

“But the county board and the GAA were fantastic and our club mentors, secretary and chairman, Covid officers were fantastic in terms of that. We were still classed as casual contacts so there was no massive panic at the time.”

He continued:

“Every club was amazing and had a Covid officer. People in the GAA took it upon themselves to make sure everything ran smoothly. These people put their hands up time and time again to do the temperature checks. We were lucky that our game was rescheduled [after the case].

The case in question had a routine check. It would have been a lot worse if he was admitted to hospital. He had no symptoms he was carrier and thankfully he kept fit and well. He did come back to play for us.”

The Dublin SFC is heading for the final stage of the competition, with Ballyboden out to defend their title against Ballymun Kickhams in the decider on Sunday week.

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The inter-county championship is on the horizon and teams are permitted to return to full training this week. Fenton says that Dessie Farrell’s charges are convening for their first session this evening.

The 2020 football championship has been reformatted due to the pandemic, and will revert to a straight knockout competition. 

Dublin, who are looking to create more history by completing an All-Ireland six-in-a-row this year, have two remaining league fixtures to play before their Leinster SFC campaign gets underway against Westmeath in November.

“I’m really excited for it,” says Fenton.

“It’s so different. From my intercounty experience, I’ve been used to the league period, you’ve a club month in April, then it’s prep for the summer. And that’s been a routine calendar for the last few years. Years ago, there was straight knockout.

“And that’s the exciting thing from my point of view, for us that you could be sent to any stadium in Ireland potentially, you could be playing any team in Ireland that comes through the province, whatever team comes through the province, and it’s just going to be straight knockout.

Maybe in the Super 8s over the last few years, you might get away with a poor performance, or a poor result or whatever it is. But that opportunity isn’t there this year.

“So we’re really going to have to be focused on every game, and every opposition because  it’s straight knockout.”

Brian Fenton has teamed up with Avonmore Protein Gold in advance of the start of the 2020 Football and Hurling All-Ireland Championships. Fenton was representing the Gaelic Players Association, of whom along with the GAA, Avonmore Protein Milk are a long-standing supporter.

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