Cork were “forced” to play Aidan Walsh for a full 70 minutes of their National Football League clash against Donegal on Sunday, despite that fact that the 21 year-old had come on as a sub for Cork IT in the semi-final of the Fitzgibbon Cup on Friday and played the full 80 minutes (including extra-time) of the final against UCC on Saturday.
He subsequently linked up with the Cork squad, who were staying overnight in Sligo. The schedule for Walsh has drawn criticism in some quarters amidst concern for player welfare. However; it has emerged that Cork’s other two regular midfielders; Nicholas Murphy and Alan O’Connor were unavailable for selection so there was “little choice” but to choose Walsh according to a Cork delegate.
A Cork source stated that if either O’Connor or Murphy had been available Walsh would not have been asked to travel. “He did not drive himself. He was driven by a member of the back-room team,” said the source.
The Cork footballers have another away match on Saturday with the trip to Laois forced upon them by the Central Hearings Committee for their part in the fracas during their game with Armagh. Cork are resigned to being without Daniel Goulding and Ciaran Sheehan for the remaining matches in the League.