FERMANAGH forward Sean Quigley has admitted it is “probably very unlikely” that he will return to the green jersey, after joining brothers Conall and Ryan Jones in stepping away from the panel.
It was confirmed earlier this week that the trio will be unavailable to manager Kieran Donnelly in 2024, as the Ernemen prepare for life in Division Two of the National League.
Quigley has been a stalwart of the Fermanagh side since making his debut in 2011, but work commitments are the main reason for the Roslea man’s withdrawal.
“I’m working a lot more evenings and weekends, and it doesn’t fit with playing county football,” said the 31-year-old, who is employed by manufacturing company Mannok.
“The way things are there’s no way I could commit to it and, as you get a bit older, your responsibilities shift a wee bit more and you can’t afford to be missing work.
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“I’m with Mannok a good while now, they’ve been good to me when I need to get away for football, there’s never any hassle, but you can’t always have things your own way. You have to pay it back at some point, which I have no problem doing.
“It’s a pity because I had a good chat with Kieran at the start of the year and I had every intention of giving it another rattle, but unfortunately there’s a bigger picture and you have to look at it that way.
“I’ve known Kieran Donnelly a long time, he coached me at minor level and I have nothing but good things to say about him.”
As for how things stand should his circumstances changes, Quigley admits things are “up in the air” to a degree – but doesn’t expect to return to the inter-county scene in future.
“It’s probably very unlikely that I’ll be back involved at any point, and I’m quite content with that.
“I will always have an itch to play for Fermanagh, when I’m 60 years of age I’ll have an itch to play for Fermanagh, because I love playing football and I would hate to put a finality on it.
“But, as it stands at the minute, it’s probably unlikely. It’s not like you’re 21 again and your main priority is going down to Lissan or down to Enniskillen to play for Fermanagh.
“I’ve been very lucky I’ve played an awful long time, made some great friends, had some good days and had some bad days.
“Unfortunately you get older and the younger boys are getting fitter, stronger and faster, and it’s harder to compete.”
And a sense of duty to Roslea, who were relegated to intermediate football this year, also played a part in Quigley’s decision to step away.
“The split season now, you’re going straight out of the club, into the county, then back into the club.
“The last couple of years I probably went back to Roslea carrying bits of injuries, and probably haven’t given my best self to them over that time.
“That probably influenced my decision a wee bit too, because I wouldn’t have played for Fermanagh over the last 10 years if it hadn’t been for the people of Roslea, so I want to be in a position where I can give my best self back to them and I haven’t been the last two or three years.”