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Rory Gallagher laughs off Joe Brolly's fears for Derry GAA's future

Rory Gallagher echoed the words of Derry's county chairman Stephen Barker in dismissing claims made by Joe Brolly that perilous finances could leave the county without the means to field a senior side in 2021. 

After taking some time over their response, Derry GAA have flatly rejected the suggestion that they are in the kind of financial trouble that may restrict them from fielding a team in next year's senior football championship.

In a recent Sunday Independent column, Joe Brolly, an All-Ireland winner with the county in 1993, claimed that Derry may consider the option of not fielding a team in 2021 due to their money woes.

The column quoted both Kieran McKeever and Fergal P McCusker, two former All-Ireland winning colleagues of Brolly's who are currently involved in the Derry county board, as they highlighted concerns about the county's well-being.

"I'm absolutely certain there will be," remarked Derry's senior football manager Rory Gallagher on OTB AM when asked if he thinks there will be a team fielded in 2021.

"No matter what, there will be a team fielded. So, I'm not too sure where those comments have come from. I think the Derry chairman in responding to them used the word "farcical", and there is absolutely no doubt [we'll field a team].

"Derry are very, very serious about their football and hurling and are mad to compete at all levels."

In a strongly-worded statement released by Derry GAA, the county board rejected any notion that they would be incapable of fielding a team in 2021, or were struggling financially.

"Derry GAA would like to dismiss recent media reports which claimed the county board is in an unhealthy financial position," the statement read, before quoting county chairman Stephen Barker directly.

"The suggestion that Derry GAA even discussed that is completely farcical and has no credibility whatsoever. The simple facts are: Derry GAA is on an extremely solid financial footing. We are not in debt."

RELATED ARTICLE: RTÉ HEAD OF SPORT HAS NO REGRETS ON JOE BROLLY DECISION

Speaking on Wednesday's OTB AM as the inter-county season looms closer into view, Rory Gallagher explained how he has approached the preparation of his Derry footballers.

In what has been an overwhelmingly new-look year of GAA action, Gallagher, who previously managed Donegal and Fermanagh, admitted that he had come around to the idea of a season split between county and club action.

"I would have been reluctant to think about a split season," he explained, "because I would have hated for the inter-county season to be over early.

"At the same time though, since the April 'club only' month has been introduced it has been difficult to police. As has been teams who start to train pre-Christmas, and I suspect we have all bent those rules over the years.

"So, I've come around to the way of thinking that a [club and county split-season] is definitely worth trialing for a number of years.

"County players are very, very torn at different times because they don't want to let their club down and they don't want games being held up as a result of them.

"If it can be policed fairly and everyone is starting on the same footing, [then it is worth trying]."

RELATED ARTICLES: RTÉ HEAD OF SPORT HAS NO REGRETS ON JOE BROLLY DECISION

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Derry GAA Gaelic Football Joe Brolly Rory Gallagher

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