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'We will struggle to field a team' | Brian Dooher on Tyrone's Covid issues


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Joint-manager Brian Dooher is unsure of whether Tyrone will be able to fulfill their All-Ireland semi-final against Kerry. 

The fixture was deferred on Monday by a week, owing to an outbreak of Covid-19 within the squad.

However, subsequent comments from county board chair Michael Kerr indicated they may not be able to field a team.

He also revealed the Ulster champions requested a delay of two weeks - something Peter Canavan agreed with.

Speaking to BBC Sport, joint-manager Dooher said that only around half of the panel are able to train fully at present.

There are an unspecified number of positive cases in the panel.

There were also issues prior to the Ulster final ten days ago, with joint-manager Feargal Logan among those to miss out.

"We'll do our best but our first priority is the welfare of our players and that's what we'll be guided by," Dooher, a three-time All-Ireland winner, said.

"We have had concerned parents on about the health of their children on our panel," 

"We requested two weeks based on our experience with Covid to date, and knowing that to get players back into panel a fairly significant timeline is needed.

"All medical evidence points towards that and definitely anything we have seen to date definitely reinforces that."

Looking ahead to the prospect of taking to the pitch on Saturday week, Dooher conceded there is a chance Tyrone will have to forfeit the match.

"There's a possibility definitely [that the game won't go ahead].

"We'd like to be in a position where we can field a team and give it our best, but at the minute I can't say for certain if that's going to happen," 

"It's not a decision we'll take lightly, we'll base it on all the facts we have. How the players react, how they're training.

"We want to fulfil the fixture and we'll do everything we can to do that, but we'll be guided by the health and wellbeing of our players principally and the advice from our medical team.

"I'm not going to force players out and put their long-term health at risk, nobody in Tyrone football wants that.

"We're looking at long-term, bigger picture here," the Clann na nGael club man concluded. 


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All-ireland Brian Dooher Covid-19 Football GAA Kerry Tyrone

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