CORK hurling boss Jimmy Barry Murphy has yet to make a final decision on veteran Sean Og O hAilpin’s chances of remaining in his squad for the 2012 league and championship season.
Barry Murphy recalled the former all-star as soon as he got the job but won’t finalize his plans for the rest of the season until after the Waterford Crystal Cup competition.
“In this regard, Sean Og is the same as every player we have on the training panel at the moment and it is up to the players to make strong cases for themselves in matches and in training over the next few weeks,” the manager told The Irish Times.
“We play either Kerry or Tralee IT in the first round of the Waterford Crystal on the 5th of February, and hopefully we’ll get a few matches in the competition before we play our first league game against Waterford three weeks later.”
NEW Fermanagh boss Peter Canavan believes his side can continue to improve after a second successive Dr. McKenna Cup after a nine point win over Queen’s University on Sunday.
“This latest result is satisfactory in that we’re playing at home here and the supporters are going home happy because they have seen their team win,” said Canavan.
“But it is only the second or third Sunday in January and fitness levels definitely are not what they should be. At times the pace of the game was somewhat slow.
“We have plenty to work at. There were a lot of wides today and a number fell short into the goalkeeper’s hands. We have plenty to work on and I don’t think our boys are getting carried away because they have won two games in the McKenna Cup.”
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DONEGAL captain Michael Murphy is out for at least eight weeks after an operation to repair a groin injury, and manager Jim McGuinness has promised not to rush his star man back.
“Whatever decision is made will be made in Michael’s best interests,” said McGuinness.
“It won’t be a decision based on trying to get him back within a timeframe or trying to get him back for the start of the league or halfway through the league or whatever it takes.
“It is important that we get the proper treatment and rehabilitation plan for him. He is 22 years of age so obviously we want to protect him as best we can and make sure he is playing football when he is 32.
“Rushing players back when an injury is anyway serious would be a danger.”
MIKE Moloney may make an effort to return to the Kerry squad after moving back to Ireland from London. Moloney will play his club football with Dr. Crokes again and could catch the eye of Kerry boss Jack O’Connor.
Moloney told the Irish Examiner, “I want to get back playing with the Crokes first and see how that goes. Whatever happens after that, we’ll just take it as it comes.”
KILKENNY legend Eddie Brennan has joined the retirement bandwagon and announced the end of his time with the Cats squad after eight All-Ireland titles.
Brennan has been startled by the goodwill directed towards after news of his decision broke at the weekend.
“I didn’t expect it to cause this much of a stir. I’ve been inundated with best wishes but I’m surprised by the overwhelming reaction,” he said.
O’Neill in Form
COLM O’Neill made his return for Cork in Sunday’s McGrath Cup win over Clare and scored two goals for the Rebels just months after cruciate ligament surgery.
“That second goal was a flash of the Colm of old. There was good teamwork involved in it and the finish then was very nice to see,” said Cork boss Conor Counihan.
FORMER Donegal manager Brian McEniff has confirmed that he will act as a selector for the Louth team boss Peter Fitzpatrick this season. Forward Johnny Murtagh has transferred to Louth after previously playing for his native Armagh and New York . . .
HIP surgery has ruled full-forward Daroch Honan out of Clarke’s NHL campaign. New boss Davy Fitzgerald is also likely to be without Mark Flaherty for most of the season after he underwent cruciate knee ligament surgery . . .
VETERAN Kerry star Tommy Griffin has announced his retirement from inter-county football after 12 years with the Kingdom, and five All-Ireland medals. “It’s the right time to hang up the boots,” said the 33-year-old . . .