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McCartan facing up to Down injury crisis

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Down manager James McCartan

Down manager James McCartan

Down manager James McCartan

Down boss James McCartan has run into major injury problems ahead of Sunday fortnight’s Ulster Championship clash with Donegal in Ballybofey.

He runs the risk of travelling to Donegal without his first choice full back line.

Daniel McCartan is ruled out after being dismissed in the league final at Croke Park while Damian Rafferty and Brendan McArdle are both facing a race against time due to injuries.

Both Aidan Brannigan and Kevin Duffin, the most likely replacements are themselves ruled out through injury.

“I would dearly hope that both Brendan McArdle and Damian Rafferty would be passed fit medically to play. The question is what kind of shape they are in having missed out on both matches and actual training.

“At present they aren’t taking part in any group training so time is running our for everyone so it’s fair to say our resources are somewhat stretched so it seems the gods have conspired against us.”

Asked for his thoughts on the Allianz football league, he said with a wry smile: “I would hate to suffer the wrath of the GAA President.

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“The league is what it is and we have to get on with it. I was going to say it’s the same for everyone but it’s not.

“It’s a strange situation that our league competition is deemed less important than the knock out competition.

“If Portsmouth win the FA Cup does that make them the best team in England?

“If the choice was mine I would prefer an Ulster Championship with two groups, one of five and four run off on a Champions League format and still have two semi-finals and a final, so guaranteeing teams a minimum of three or four games.”


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