17:17, 14 Jun 2012
As if he was not under enough pressure following a heavy Leinster SFC defeat to Dublin, Louth manager Peter Fitzpatrick had to cancel training on Monday night due to 21 of his players being unavailable.
Only nine players were fit and available to train on Monday as the Wee County look to bounce back in the All-Ireland SFC qualifiers at the end of the month.
Fitzpatrick told the Drogheda Independent: "I've never seen anything like it before. We were due to train on Monday night and we just didn't have the numbers. Out of a panel of 30, 21 couldn't train.
"I've requested a meeting with the County Board because we have to decide if we want to take the qualifiers seriously or just play the game."
Coupled with a lengthy injury list, Fitzpatrick has had to cope with emigration robbing him of some of his key players.
Brian White and Brian Donnelly are spending the summer Stateside and fellow squad members James Califf and Cathal Bellew have joined them in Boston.
Mick Fanning and Eamonn McAuley were injured for the start of the Championship and target man Shane Lennon is sidelined with a 'career threatening' hip problem.
To make matters worse, Derek Maguire, Andy McDonnell and Michael Rogers have also joined the exodus to America and Jamie Carr could yet decide to join them.
"Most clubs have three games to play between now and June 30, when the qualifiers begin, and the lads want to play for their clubs," added Fitzpatrick.
"We wanted to get a couple of challenge matches in too but we can't flog the players. They've put in a fantastic effort this year and we have to look after their welfare."