Benny Coulter is to put his fitness worries to the back of his mind for the sake of his club Mayobridge and for Ireland.
A hamstring strain has limited the Down icon’s input into Mayobridge’s surge into the county senior football championship semi-finals in which they will meet Burren at Pairc Esler, Newry on Saturday (6pm) and he played for only 10 minutes in the 1-11 to 0-12 quarter-final win over Longstone last weekend.
But now a catalogue of injuries to other key players has reinforced Coulter’s determination to be in the frame against Burren – and he also plans to attend part of Anthony Tohill’s three-day International Rules training and preparation session in Limerick.
Coulter, an outstanding exponent of the International Rules code, is expected to be an automatic choice for Ireland against Australia in the two Tests on October 23 and October 30 if fully fit and Irish boss Tohill is very keen to monitor his fitness.
With Ronan Sexton (knee ligament), Conor Garvey (swollen foot), Michael Walsh (recurring knee trouble) and Noel Sexton (neck injury) all rated extremely doubtful for Mayobridge, Coulter is keen to step up to the plate in his bid to win what would be his ninth county championship medal.
“We obviously picked up some serious injuries in that win over Longstone at the weekend and we face a worrying week. We are going in against a Burren side that had a big win over Ballyholland and will be feeling quite confident,” said Coulter.
Coulter plans to leave for Limerick tomorrow where he will link up with the 30-strong Irish squad but he does not expect to be involved too much.
“I am delighted to have been invited into the squad and I will certainly relish my involvement. But obviously with the game against Burren looming on Saturday I will have to strictly limit what I will do in Limerick,” he adds.
Meanwhile, Omagh St Enda’s officials and manager Paddy Crozier will await the outcome of tonight’s scheduled Disputes Resolution Authority hearing in Dublin at which the club’s plea to have proposed bans on Michéal Gallagher, Stephen Mullan and Dara O’Neill rescinded.
Crozier is keen to have all three in his side for Saturday’s deferred semi-final meeting with Carrickmore at Pomeroy.