New Fermanagh manager Kieran Donnelly has been dealt an early blow following the decision of talented utility player Ultan Kelm to sign for Australian Football League side Fremantle Dockers.
Kelm has been one of Fermanagh’s most impressive performers of late and his pace, work-rate and energy are understood to have made an impact on the AFL scouts who have been tracking his progress.
The 21-year-old Erne Gaels clubman missed the 2020 season because of a troublesome hip injury but returned to the county colours this year and was outstanding in their Ulster Championship loss to Monaghan.
It is understood that Kelm has had his sights on a career in the AFL for some time and has been working with former Down and ex-Collingwood star Marty Clarke, who had a distinguished career Down Under before returning home.
Kelm’s all-action style coupled with his ability to translate defence into attack saw him blossom in Fermanagh’s colours and he has already come in from glowing praise from Fremantle Dockers officials who believe they have landed a significant capture.
“Ultan is a really good athlete who plays with a lot of confidence,” said a club spokesman yesterday.
Meanwhile, much has been made to date of the Gaelic Players Association’s concerted drive to get ‘Proposal B’ over the line when the GAA holds its Special Congress next weekend.
Indeed, such has been the level of debate and speculation surrounding this particular item on the Congress agenda that it hardly merits a full-bodied explanation at this juncture.
But for the record, if ‘Proposal B’ were to acquire the necessary 60% vote to take it onto the statute book, then the complexion of the inter-county season would undergo a massive transformation.
However, many county managers appear to have mixed views on what could be in the offing at a Special Congress which may yet see familiar competitive structures jettisoned.
Antrim manager Enda McGinley is among those who is trying to keep a focus on the big picture despite the intensive pre-Congress discussions which are a dominant theme in every county right now.
And he remains preturbed that one particular group of people have stayed rather silent on the whole issue to date.
“I think the GAA hierarchy has held its cards amazingly close to its chest,” insists Tyrone triple All-Ireland winner McGinley.
“I would be a wee bit worried about all of the momentum for Proposal B. While overall there is a major push for Proposal B in terms of people who are talking about it, the people who aren’t talking about it are those with the votes.”