Saffrons soldier on without captain
17:18, 19 Jul 2012
Team captain Aodhan Gallagher will play no part in Antrim's All-Ireland SFC third round qualifier against Tipperary on Saturday.
Gallagher has withdrawn from the panel due to "personal reasons", having informed manager Liam Bradley of his decision after last weekend's win over Galway.
The loss of the big midfielder is a considerable blow given that ex-skipper and first choice free-taker Paddy Cunningham is also currently missing from the squad.
Gallagher, who was an All-Ireland winner with his club St. Gall's in 2010, did not start against Galway but came off the bench to very good effect.
Bradley has issued a statement confirming Gallagher's unavailability. It reads: "We, the management of the Antrim senior football team, were approached by captain Aodhan Gallagher after the Galway game. He confided in us he is experiencing some personal issues at present.
"He has decided that he has no option but to withdraw from the panel as he cannot give the necessary commitment.
"It is a regrettable situation but we the management team and the entire squad respect Aodhan's decision and we hope that his personal circumstances improve to the extent that he can return to what he does best - playing football.
"Our entire focus is now on the important qualifier game against Tipperary this Saturday."