Back in the day - Pete McGrath hits out 'saturation football' - The Irish News, May 20 1999
DOWN’S midfield worries for the Championship have eased with the news that Sean Ward doesn’t need an operation on a knee injury.
The Burren midfielder damaged a cartilage in a club match against Liatroim less than a fortnight ago but after undergoing scans to assess the problem, specialists have decided that an operation isn’t necessary.
It’s good news for Down manager Pete McGrath as preparations intensify for the June 20 meeting with Antrim.
Ward, who didn’t take part in last night’s training session in Rostrevor, will have 10-14 days rest before resuming training in time to be in the frame for a starting spot. Antrim match.”
Ward remains a contender to fill the midfield role left open after a knee operation ruled out then captain Gregory McCartan, though McCartan is making impressive progress along the road to fitness.
The manager took a swipe at administrators, with the club scene clearly affecting his championship preparations: “So many demands are being placed on players, the programme of club football is relentless.
“They are just asking too much - it’s saturation football and that’s why players are picking up injuries, like Sean has done.”
Conor Deegan was also being linked with a central role but his involvement appears highly unlikely at this stage as he didn’t attend last night’s training session.
CLIFTONVILLE keeper Michael Ingham yesterday signed on the dotted line for English Premiership newcomers Sunderland for an undisclosed fee not before a failed 11th-hour bid from Ruud Gullit’s Newcastle United.
Ingham’s week was similar to that of ‘the waiting for a bus’ analogy and then two come along at once.
The delighted 18-year-old confirmed: “The Sunderland trip was planned a week or so in advance and then Newcastle came in for me a few days back.
“But I had made up my mind. Newcastle wanted to bring me over for a few days but I’ve had my fill with trials.”
ANNADALE clubman Andy Campbell is favourite for the Fila Les Jones 10K being run in south Belfast tomorrow evening.
Holder and course record holder (29.33) from last year Dermot Donnelly is not competing this year as he races over 5,000m in Loughborough on Sunday.