Sligo captain Kevin McDonnell looks set to miss out on all of 2019 as he struggles to recover from a troublesome hip injury, while experienced duo David Kelly and Ross Donovan also look set to miss out on Paul Taylor’s first year in charge.
Kevin McDonnell of Sligo dejected after the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Round 2A match between Meath and Sligo at Páirc Tailteann in Navan, Co Meath. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Sligo begin their FBD League campaign when they clash with Roscommon at Dr Hyde Park on Sunday, but the loss of McDonnell (24) is a huge blow for the former U21 manager. The influential Castleconnor clubman captained Sligo last season but after struggling to regain full fitness in 2018, he has decided to take an extended break.
“It looks like, at the moment, that Kevin won’t be there for any part of the season. Kevin, unfortunately, for a young man, has a lot of mileage on the clock and he has a lot of (injury) problems,” said Taylor. “It’s very unfortunate for Kevin, first of all, on a personal level. Kevin loves football, he was one of Sligo’s main players over the last number of years, even from an early age.
«At his age where he should have his playing career in front of him; the injury is preventing him from doing that, but the demands that are put on players nowadays (are huge). You could call it burnout; there are huge demands put on players physically, mentally and on the pitch as well. It’s absolutely huge.”
Veteran defender Donovan — a clubmate of Taylor’s at Eastern Harps — is also a major injury doubt for the season while work and family commitments mean forward Kelly will miss another year of inter-county action.