THE Naomh Conaill team doctor has called for Sunday’s Ulster club championship game against Castlerahan to be postponed.
Dr Charlie McManus, who was the team doctor to the Donegal senior football team during Jim McGuinness’s time as manager, has written to the Donegal County Board and the Ulster Council to outline his concern.
Dr McManus, in a letter seen by Donegal Daily/Donegal Sport Hub, says that it would be ‘reckless and negligent’ to allow the game to go ahead.
Naomh Conaill overcame Gaoth Dobhair 0-8 to 0-7 last night in what was the second replay of the 2019 Donegal SFC final.
The teams met three times over a ten-day period. In all, Naomh Conaill have played eight Championship games in a 53-day spell since beating Killybegs in the group stage opener in early September.
After finally eking out a win over Gaoth Dobhair, Naomh Conaill are slated to meet Cavan champions Castlerahan on Sunday at Kingspan Breffni Park.
Dr McManus, however, has called for the game to be postponed for at least seven days.
“I make this request out of the genuine concern I have for the welfare of the players I look after, on a volunteer basis,” Dr McManus wrote.
Under no circumstance should this game be allowed to proceed without taking the welfare of these players into consideration. “To have played the amount of football these men have done in the last 10 days and be expected to tog out again in the Ulster club championship is wrong on many levels.”
Dr McManus pointed out that many of the Naomh Conaill players returned to work or college today having left Ballybofey after 11pm last night.
He wrote: “These men require appropriate time for recovery and this time frame is not allowed, if they are expected to play again on Sunday.
“Second, the Glenties team should be allocated enough to celebrate their achievement last night without the worry of a game in 3 days.
“Many of the greatest players that ever played the game never managed to win a county championship. This achievement should be allowed to be acknowledged and celebrated.
“Third, games should be on a level playing field. This means that both teams should have time to prepare adequately. It is unfair on many levels if Naomh Conaill have 3 days versus 3 weeks for their opponents.
“The Donegal champions should be allowed to meet their Cavan counterparts properly prepared, rather than patched together.”
Dr McManus concludes with what he says is a ‘medial opinion’ that it would be ‘reckless and negligent’ to allow the game to go ahead.
He added: “I cannot express enough my concern over their welfare, should this game go ahead…Should this request not be sanctioned, then I request that the medical grounds upon which the decision is made to proceed are sent to me.”Tags: