Nigel Dunne leaves Offaly pane...

Football

Nigel Dunne leaves Offaly panel: 'I felt isolated and unwelcome'

Darren Cleary
Darren Cleary

10:59 4 Mar 2019


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Nigel Dunne has confirmed his departure from the Offaly football panel.

The star forward has quit after claiming he felt isolated and unwelcome in the set-up.

His decision to walk away comes amid reports of a fall-out with the manager John Maughan.

Dunne missed the first game of the division three Allianz League campaign.

Offaly surrendered an eight-point lead as they lost to Westmeath by a point.

The 29-year-old was absent for the Longford game but returned for the win over Carlow kicking 0-2 points.

Sources close to the situation suggest there was no bust-up and Dunne’s issue centres around his role in the set-up.

Niall McNamee's decision to come out of retirement is said to be a factor. Coupled with Bernard Allen’s growing role and free taking responsibilities, Dunne's place was said to be uncertain.

Maughan however claimed to be shocked by a text message from Dunne informing him of his decision to walk away. The Offaly manager spoke to Midlands 103:

“I was quite surprised and shocked actually to get a text message indicating he was walking away, that's his decision as I said before it's a choice, a pleasure, a hobby playing sport.

"If he wasn't enjoying it and wasn't prepared to play for Offaly that's fine, I accept that, we have many more who don't want to play for a combination of reasons, that is just a personal choice"

Dunne took to Twitter to clarify his future, claiming: “The manager was aware of personal issues going on in my life."

“The text I sent saying I was leaving the panel was a result of weeks of an uncomfortable environment for me personally.

“I felt isolated and unwelcome in the set up.

“I appreciate my reputation goes before me but this is a different scenario. Now that is that, it's best for all involved.

“Best of luck to the players and management for the remainder of this year."

Nigel's done with Offaly

Last year Dunne made headlines when it was claimed he walked out on the team in the middle of a game, something the forward strongly denied.

Dunne was taken off during the Leinster SFC loss to Wicklow last summer. There were reports he took the hump and made a swift exit.

In a statement released via his Twitter account, he rubbished that suggestion.

"I did not leave O'Moore Park at half time on Sunday and head for my car, sure I came on the team bus.

“I left the dressing room to get some air, have a sulk and feel sorry for myself... nothing more!!!

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