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Dublin: 9°C Monday 8 March 2021

Longford boss Connerton in quit threat just weeks before championship opener

The Midlanders could lose Denis Connerton in a row over local club fixtures.

Image: Tommy Grealy/INPHO

LONGFORD senior football team manager Denis Connerton has threatened to resign less than three weeks before the Leinster championship opener against Offaly.

Longford are due to play the Faithful County at O’Connor Park in Tullamore on 15 May but Connerton may not be at the helm due to a row over local club fixtures.

The Longford Leader reports that Connerton and his backroom team could quit after county board officials refused to postpone a round of club league matches.

Connerton and his colleagues Ciaran Fox, Enda Macken and Derek Ryan released a hard-hitting statement and claim that the county board’s decision to go ahead with round five of the local club leagues is affecting preparations for the Offaly game.

Connerton and his selectors met last night “to reconsider our situation in regard to continuing in our role.”

They explained that their request for a postponement of the round five league games was denied and board officials then fixed the games on three separate days between 26 April and 1 May.

The statement reads:

This is the fourth time that a round of league games couldn’t be completed in one day.

This has hampered our preparation for the championship as we have had to cancel numerous training sessions and at this stage we unfortunately feel that we are unlikely to win the first round versus Offaly.

Therefore we feel we are now preparing for the qualifiers and we hope our preparation for this competition will receive  greater support. Our elite players deserve better.

We have to ask how other county teams manage to have much greater free time leading up to their respective provincial championships and we can’t?

This was never an issue in Longford before as previous management teams got ample time to prepare.

Our preparation has been made seriously difficult due to the fixing of league games involving county players on the following dates: March 16th, 17th, 19th and 20th, April 8th, 9th, 10th, 13th, 19th, 23rd, 26th, 29th and May 1st.

After a productive training camp abroad, funded by the players, we met with the Fixtures Committee (CCC) to voice our concerns regarding players’ welfare and fatigue and pleaded that Round 5 of the club leagues in Longford be postponed to aid our preparation for the first round match in Leinster.

We stressed that we had already lost home venue due to Glennon Brothers Pearse Park being unable to accommodate the expected crowd for this match even though the stadium was able to facilitate a Division 1 fixture involving our neighbours Roscommon with a very large attendance.

We further stated that our record in the Leinster championship has been poor and as we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of our National League victory surely everything that is possible within our own county to enhance our young players’ chances  of progressing should be done.”

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