Lee Keegan's interesting perspective on Diarmuid Connolly's ban

The Dublin footballer is set to miss 12 weeks of the season

BY Simon Maguire 14:53 Thursday 15 June 2017, 14:53 15 Jun 2017

Lee Keegan at SuperValu’s #BehindTheBall Campaign Launch, Croke Park. Image: ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Mayo's Lee Keegan believes off-field controversies have taken the public's mind off the exciting football being played this season.

Speaking to Off the Ball's Dave McIntyre, the Mayo man first reflected on their recent Connacht Championship loss to Galway, saying: "Obviously after losing a game like that, the first thing in your head is negativity and have a little bit of a sulk. But the reality is we're still in the Championship and we'll know our fate next Monday, who we're playing and we'll just take it from there.

"As tough as it is, you just have to accept it and that's just the way life is. We didn't go out to lose the game. We were unfortunate and maybe could have got a draw out of it but didn't.

"Galway fully deserved the win and we move on. Obviously it's going to take a bit of fine-tuning, a bit of tweaking but I think we're capable of doing it and we look forward to the first of July."

One of the main talking points of the football Championship so far has been the on-going saga around Dublin's Diarmuid Connolly.

Speaking about the situation, he said: "I think that's the fault within the GAA, to be honest, that we have opportunities to do it (the appeals process).

Dublin's Diarmuid Connolly. Image: ©INPHO/James Crombie

"It becomes a bit of a laughing stock after a while because not only is his name getting dragged through the mud with the media which is unfortunate - everyone wants to see Diarmuid Connolly playing through the summer and showcase what he has. He's one of the best footballers out there, he knows that himself. 

"We're dragging so many instances out that nobody's talking about the football anymore and that's what the focus should be: players showcasing their talents. 

"So far, the Championship has been one of the best so far in terms of teams beating each other. The whole fact that we're dragging  so much out of it, it must be a laughing stock after a while because how many opportunities should we be given to appeal and this and that?

"I've been involved myself in some of them and it's laughable that I had to travel to Dublin to try and get off and then go home around 12 o'clock to tell people I'm actually able to play," he added. 

Discussing the whole appeals situation within the organisation, he said: "That's what every team is looking at now: is a loophole or they're looking for a fault in the report. If they're bring lads in smart enough to do that - there is loopholes unfortunately within the system and it works for quite a lot of them and they don't seem to be fixed anytime soon which is unfortunate again. 

"Of course, you want the system to be as fair as possible to all players because as Gaelic players, a lot of us don't go out to do any harm to anyone. Obviously we play with a physical edge and we play on the line a lot of us but at the end of it, we're not trying to condemn. If it's an issue that's there, it needs to be dealt with in the right manner," he added. 

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