Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

Murray shrugs off fall-out in call for Antrim unity

ANTRIM chairman Jim Murray is urging a stronger sense of unity following the team's demotion to Division Four and the fall-out from the non-involvement of Tony Scullion and Tomas McCann in last Sunday's loss against Monaghan.

Murray, perturbed that Antrim is being shown in an unfavourable light, insists that it is time to move forward – a sentiment expressed by manager Frank Dawson.

"I don't think there is anything to be gained by a very public ward of words," states Murray.

"We must move forward together...I happen to believe that this side will not be in Division Four for too long but obviously it will take commitment and togetherness to get us back up."

Scullion, who has already vehemently denied the suggestion that he will not play for the Saffrons again while Frank Dawson remains as manager, is actually in line to be chosen on the Ulster championship squad which is due to be announced next week.

"We are due to meet Monaghan in the provincial series and our whole focus has now shifted to that particular match," maintains Murray. "Maybe it is ironic that we will be meeting the side that effectively consigned us to Division Four but sport is like that, you have to accept the hand which you are dealt.

"We have home advantage at Casement Park and we will be putting a massive effort into winning this particular game."

Scullion and his Cargin club colleague McCann (pictured), who is his brother-in-law, did not travel with the official party to the Four Seasons Hotel, Monaghan, for pre-match breakfast as they attended an anniversary Mass for a deceased relative instead. It appears they were instructed not to travel under their own steam and remained at home while the team went to on to fulfil the fixture in which they fell by 3-16 to 0-13.

Since then, Scullion has been striving to make his position clear but believes that comments he made have been misrepresented by local media.

"When I was not included in the team, I indicated that my future was in the county board's hands," says Scullion.

"This is the only information I gave to the media. Sunday's incident is in the past and is better left there."

County board PRO Brendan Mulgrew reiterated that neither "Scullion nor any other player" has called time on their county career. "The team's performances which preceded our relegation have been assessed at a meeting but it is time now to move on," states Mulgrew.

"The manager hopes to unveil his squad for the Ulster Championship within the next week or so and Tony Scullion will be considered for selection in the same way as every other player."

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