There are serious availability doubts emerging over the availability of Dublin’s players for the International Rules Series kicking off on the 28th of October.
Bernard and Alan Brogan, Stephen Cluxton and Rory O’Carroll are all expected to feature on the preliminary squad but, with their clubs still involved in the Dublin championship, the expectancy is that at least some of them will have to miss the trip to Australia.
Down’s Martin Clarke will not be available as he prepares to make his return to the AFL in the coming weeks.
A preliminary squad is expected to be announced early next week after prospective players took part in a training camp last weekend in Carton House.
Management had been leaving the door open to Clarke up to last weekend but now they are now resigned to being without the Down man.
Clarke played with Collingwood, one of the biggest names in Australian Rules, from 2006 to 2009, earning a regular starting slot. He then decided to return to Ireland to attempt to win an All-Ireland with Down, and he almost did it, only losing in the final to Cork by a single point.
Clarke’s Down team-mate, and a star of past series, Benny Coulter, is also expected to miss the trip, due to injury.