GAA Football

London hope to be back in 2021 for inter-county season: Michael Maher

London boss Michael Maher is hopeful the Exiles can relaunch themselves early next year

LONDON senior football manager Michael Maher remains hopeful the Exiles can resume inter-county action in 2021 after they were reluctantly dropped from the Connacht Senior Football Championship this year due to Covid19.

Maher, who became the first London-born manager of the county team at the start of 2020, accepted the decision to exclude them from this year’s championship.

“The decision was taken out of our hands because of travel restrictions. From the outset, the pleasing thing was we were still included in the competition and Croke Park and Connacht Council wanted us to be involved and I guess from their point of view they held out for as long as possible,” said the Round Towers clubman.

“It’s very disappointing that it has come to this and it will set us back a small bit because our last game was the first weekend in March with the next one potentially coming in February. That’s 11 months without any inter-county football, which will be tough but we were glad we were left in the competition for as long as possible.”

The CCCC is busy planning what next year’s fixtures calendar may look like with discussions around shortening the Allianz Leagues by breaking each division into two groups with counties playing three games each, with a tentative start date of February.

London still harbour hopes of playing a full part in whatever new formats are designed by the CCCC.

“I’d be really hopefully that we can be up and running next February,” said Maher.

“It’s going to be tough but it would be worse if it was 22 months down the line. I’d hope if we are included we can do everything in our power to integrate as many London-born youngsters into the panel and see where those guys are at and keep as much as our current squad together.”

London GAA only returned to action last weekend after a successful application was lodged with the British Government by the provincial council of Britain.

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GAA Football