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Michael McCann follows brother into Antrim's exile

By Declan Bogue

Published 07/04/2015

Quitting: Michael McCann
Quitting: Michael McCann

Antrim have been rocked with the news that star midfielder Michael McCann has left the county panel.

McCann, who did not feature in Antrim's 1-13 to 1-7 defeat to Offaly that ended their promotion hopes from Division Four on Sunday, has joined his brother Tomás in exile from the squad, with work commitments - the McCann brothers opened a gym in Toome last year - cited as the major factor.

Antrim face a major job in building confidence ahead of their Ulster Championship clash against Fermanagh.

The failure to get promotion was a huge disappointment to full-forward Michael Pollock.

"It's devastating," said the St Gall's man. "We were in a position to get a draw against Longford, but a bit of naivety crept in, we tried to get the win, we should have settled for a point and went back up the road.

"I think it's something we need to reflect on as a squad, we need to try and get off the mark quickly, get to 10 or 11 points as quick as possible."

It was an odd league for the Saffrons. With Frankie Fitzsimons brought in as a new management, and renowned physical trainer Mick McGurn added to the ticket, it began in optimism.

However, an opening day draw at home to Carlow was followed by defeat away to Longford and although they put themselves in contention by winning four consecutive games thereafter, getting a result out of O'Connor Park was always going to be a tall order.

Results were actually better this time round than the previous year, though, and Pollock insists progress has been made.

"Absolutely, that's the way we have to look at it. When we lost to Longford and drew against Carlow we came back strong, which is a sign of good character in the team," Pollock contends.

"There's no doubt we'll come back strong against Fermanagh too, but we've some soul-searching to do now. We've to put our heads down, ask ourselves why we weren't good enough."

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