Dessie Farrell says he was annoyed by rumours of U21 club boycott

The All-Ireland winning U21 manager was speaking to Off The Ball's Oisin Langan

BY Sinéad Farrell 12:26 Sunday 30 April 2017, 12:26 30 Apr 2017

©INPHO/James Crombie

Dessie Farrell says he was annoyed by the suggestion that the U21 Dublin footballers were instructed to pull out of the first round of the senior club championship, in order to focus on yesterday's All-Ireland U21 final.

News of this controversy first came to light after it was reported that the decision was taken not to play the club games following a player's meeting. It's believed the action was taken in response to club games not being rescheduled ahead of the All-Ireland final, although some of them did line out for club championship last week.

After yesterday's victory over Galway, Farrell insisted that the management made no concerted effort to encourage the players to refrain from playing. 

Speaking to Off The Ball's Oisin Langan, the Dublin U21 boss said:

"No, not at all. It's totally mischievous and actually quite annoying to be honest. The players had a meeting and clubs were asked if they could facilitate that some players could be left out. 

"Some clubs were more than happy to co-operate, they understood the significance of this game and some other clubs weren't in a position to do that and that was totally understandable as well. Every situation is different, but at no stage were players instructed not to play or at no stage did they decide not to play themselves."

Image: Dublin U21 players celebrating after their All-Ireland victory over Galway.

Farrell added that the decision was taken to proceed with the club games 'despite the fact that numerous clubs had contacted the county board to say that they were more than willing to facilitate a change and put the games back two weeks.'

"There were no clubs annoyed, absolutely not. We contacted all the clubs and all the clubs were more than happy to co-operate. It was very straight forward, I don't know where the initial blast of publicity came (from) around this but it was something that was put to bed and we were very grateful for the support of the clubs."

When asked if he was annoyed that some players did line out for their clubs, he said:

"Not at all. We understood that the players were going to have to play, it was inevitable. It's club championship and some of those clubs were in a position where they could leave players or just leave players on the bench. Other clubs were absolutely not in that position and that's completely understandable."

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