The saga rumbles on! Seanie Johnston’s move to Kildare might not yet be dead in the water, despite reports to the contrary last week, writes Ruth O’Brien.
Johnston’s transfer request was turned down by the GAA’s Central Competition Controls Committee (CCCC) as they were not satisfied that the players’ address in Straffan was a permanent one.
The Cavan forward, who watched the Lilies beat Derry in Newbridge last Sunday, has appealed to the Central Hearings Committee in Croke Park and should the CCCC decision be upheld, Johnston is expected to take his case all the way to the DRA.
Speaking last Sunday Kildare boss Kieran McGeeney said he was disappointed and bewildered by the CCCC’s decision as Johnston provided all documentation required.
“It’s very disappointing and I’d like to get it sorted. People have their own opinion about it but he has given enough things to prove it. It’s enough for the police, it’s enough for banks, enough for everybody else but not for the GAA but that’s their call,” insisted the Armagh man.
“He’s about and the fella just wants to play football and it’s very frustrating for him. I don’t think they (the GAA) looked as close at other transfers between club and county throughout the country this year. When you say this people think you’re being smart but I’m not. Cavan said they didn’t want him, his club have given him a transfer and if it was anybody else it would be done and dusted,” added the Kildare boss.
Johnston first submitted a transfer request from his home town club Cavan Gaels to St Kevin’s back in January but the Cavan County Board were unwilling to support it, despite his own club doing so. Then last week the CCCC turned down the request despite Johnston, a secondary school teacher, providing proof of address and a tenancy agreement.
Johnston was considered surplus to requirements by Cavan manager Val Andrews late last year and the talented forward subsequently attempted to declare for the Lilies without moving clubs.
The plan soon hit the rocks, however, as once again the CCCC blocked any such move. It then emerged that Johnston was on his way to the Staplestown based club, having moved to an address some 13 kilometres away.