Kieran McGeeney finds himself confronted by a major headache even before the GAA season has broken into a trot.
The Kildare boss is anxious that the dismissal of three of his players in the 0-11 to 0-8 O’Byrne Cup win over Laois on Sunday will not impact on their progress in the competition or in the National League which gets under way the weekend after next.
In addition to the Kildare trio of John Doyle, Morgan O’Flaherty and Padraig O’Neill, a quartet of Laois players were also red-carded in the fractious encounter by referee Syl Doyle.
Now McGeeney, who led Armagh to All Ireland glory in 2002 and has created a big impression since taking over as the Lily Whites boss, is striving to ensure that his squad keep their focus as the Leinster Council prepares to launch its own investigation into the violence when it receives the referee’s report.
“This is something that we could be doing without,” said McGeeney.
“There was an incident about five seconds before the brawl and had it been dealt with properly we would not have had the mayhem. I have always been proud of the discipline my players have shown, they have been A1.
“To have seven players sent-off in a game at any stage of the year is bad, but it’s highly unusual to see it in January.”
Leinster Council's disciplinary chiefs will meet tomorrow night to consider the report of Wexford referee Doyle regarding the ugly scenes.
Leinster's Competitions Control Committee (CCC) will decide on sanctions and inform the counties of their findings on Thursday.
After that, Kildare and Laois have three days in which to decide if they want a hearing on the disciplinary outcome.
Should they take that option, Leinster secretary Michael Delaney expects the hearings could take place in time for decisions to be made in advance of the start of the National League on Sunday week.