LONDON’S preparations for their Connacht SFC clash with Leitrim on June 3 are back on track after clubs tonight resolved a dilemma which threatened to dash the county team’s hopes of another successful championship campaign.
Manager Paul Coggins looked set to lose 12 members of his panel as a result of the recent introduction of the ‘Seanie Johnston rule’.
The rule, which was brought in at last month’s GAA Congress, states that a player who wishes to play for a county team must first play championship for a club in that county in the current or previous season.
That would have ruled 12 London players out of action for the rest of the season, so an emergency meeting of the County Board was called at Ruislip tonight.
The first round of club championship games in London weren’t due to take place until July, but it was proposed at the meeting to bring the games forward to the weekend of May 26/27 in order to provide the 12 players with the chance to confirm their eligibility for the county.
London County Board delegates voted unanimously in favour of backing the proposal, which will give the Exiles a full panel to choose from for next month’s meeting with Leitrim at Ruislip, when they’ll aim to secure a first Connacht SFC victory since 1977.
While it remains far from ideal for Paul Coggins to have his entire panel involved in club championship action just a week before a Connacht SFC game, it was the best case scenario for the London boss in the circumstances.