Star forward to miss out on date with Tyrone

29 April 2011 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Monaghan’s bid to claim this year’s Ulster SFC title has received a blow with the news that renowned attacker Tommy Freeman will not feature in the June 5th provincial championship clash with Tyrone in Healy Park.
The mercurial Magheracloone ace confirmed to The Northern Standard that he is on the cusp of visiting the United States “for at least a couple of months”.
The NFL Division Two medallist and county SFC medallist got married earlier this year and it is understood that he will be accompanied Stateside by his new wife.
It is understood that the 2007 All-Star award winner will line out for the Leitrim club while ensconced in New York although the player himself confided that he hadn’t all his plans finalised as yet.
GAA rules state that a player who has a transfer sanctioned to a club abroad cannot play for another club in Ireland for a period of 90 days after the date of the sanction.
The self-employed carpenter has been the go-to guy up front for club and county for many years now and will be sorely missed for both his leadership and marksmanship qualities.
On a recent Irish Independent 100 Greatest Football Players of today, 30 year old Freeman was sited at 37th in a list headed by Colm Cooper (Kerry) and which featured Tyrone totem Sean Cavanagh in third spot.
When contacted by the Northern Standard, Monaghan boss Eamonn McEneaney said that he was already resigned to losing the experienced Freeman before the conclusion of this year’s NFL.
“I had spoken to Tommy last November and he spoke at that time about having some regrets that he hadn’t travelled to the States at some stage over the past few years,” McEneaney explained.
“I suppose he feels this is an opportune time for him to go across the water and see what it brings him in terms of football and possible work.
“The fact that he made me aware of his plans before the conclusion of the national league is something that I appreciate.
“I think it would have been worse for us if, for instance, he was part of our championship preparations for the Tyrone game and on the eve of the match, he got injured and was ruled out.
“It’s a huge blow to the county but if there is a silver lining in all of this it’s that Tommy conveyed his decision to me in time for us to get our head around the fact that he won’t be in Healy Park and that we need to plan without him.”
McEneaney confirmed that he did try and convince US-bound Freeman to change his mind and stay for the duration of the championship but the free-scoring countyman wasn’t for turning.
“You have to respect his decision ’cause it’s part and parcel of life and, particular, for high-profile footballers.

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