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GAA players heading to USA - 'I would never try and persuade a fella from going'

Roscommon coach Liam McHale can understand why Conor Daly is one of the latest to depart.

Roscommon footballer Conor Daly is Boston bound.
Roscommon footballer Conor Daly is Boston bound.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

IT’S A FAMILIAR practice every summer that hundreds of GAA players leave Ireland and head across the Atlantic to sample life Stateside for a few months.

This week saw the revelation that Tipperary will be without three of their brightest young talents as Liam Casey, Kevin Fahey and Jason Lonergan are bound for the USA.

The Roscommon footballers, a major success story in the league campaign, have lost the versatile Conor Daly as he is bound for Boston.

Liam McHale is currently coaching Roscommon after a distinguished playing career with Mayo.

He admits that it is disappointing to lose a player of Daly’s capabilities but after sampling USA summers himself, he is no mood to blame youngsters for making that choice.

“Conor pulled out two weeks ago, said he was going to the States. We are a bit disappointed but if that’s what he wants to do, he’s a student, a young lad.

Kevin McStay, Fergal O’Donnell and Liam McHale Liam McHale (right) is part of the Roscommon football management team. Source: Heather Dunne/INPHO

“I did it three or four times myself so I’m not going to be a hypocrite and say they shouldn’t do it. I was in Boston and Chicago.

“It was easier for us because if you lost the first round of the championship there was no qualifier and your phone would be hopping on Monday morning.

“These fellas are getting good offers, they are good footballers. I personally had the time of my life any time I did it. I would never try and persuade a fella from going.

“If they feel the need to do it then it’s a great experience for them. The will be playing football, the good guys will still be doing a bit of lifting and playing a fairly competitive game every weekend.

“We are disappointed because we can’t afford to be losing fellas like Conor but at the same time we understand that if that’s what he needs to do then so be it.”

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Fintan O'Toole

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