Earley and Ryan to meet on panel for Dublin game

Allianz National Football League Division 2 Roscommon v Dublin (on Saturday at Parnell Park at 7 pm) Seamus Duke  Saturday’s encounter with Dublin was never going to be an easy game for Roscommon and now, given the circumstances of the resignation of John Maughan and his selectors, and with the approaching Connacht U-21 final on Wednesday night next against Mayo to consider, this is suddenly one of the most daunting tasks that any Roscommon team has ever faced.   Former Roscommon star Paul Earley has agreed to take charge of the team for the final two league games and Roscommon GAA supporters should be very grateful to him for agreeing to bridge the gap until the league is over.   I spoke to Paul Earley yesterday (Wednesday) and he recognises the enormity of the task facing the Roscommon team on Saturday night.    ‘This has has all happened so quickly. This only came about yesterday (Tuesday) so I haven’t had much of a chance to do anything yet. I will be travelling to Roscommon to meet the players on Thursday night and I will know how I am fixed much better after that.    ‘I am very well aware that the U-21’s are playing in the Connacht final next Wednesday and we have to make sure thay we can accommodate those players as best as we can. I will be meeting with Michael Ryan and the U-21 management team and we will come to some agreement over the next few days. I want to meet the players before anything else happens’ he commented.    Paul says that he is definitely not interested in taking the team manager’s job on a permanent basis.    ‘Inter-county team management is now a full-time job and I have tremendous admiration for anyone who takes it on. It is an extremely diffucult job. It requires a massive amount of time and dedication. I have a business and I live in Kildare so it is not a realistic option for me. I am glad to be able to help out now but it is only until the league is over’ he said.   Given the situation with regard to the Roscommon panel, it is very difficult to see Roscommon being able to take the field without at least some of the U-21 players, however the Connacht final next Wednesday is now the most important priority for Roscommon football in the short-term.   I presume that most of the players who lined out against Westmeath will again be in action in Parnell Park and Roscommon supporters will be hoping for signs of an improvement in the performance of the team after two heavy defeats against Armagh and Westmeath.   To have to play against Dublin in Parnell Park in the present circumstances is an extremely difficult proposition and the best Roscommon followers can hope for is that the team will respond after what has been a very difficult week for all concerned.    It would be unrealistic to expect a Roscommon win and the hope will be that all the players, and especially those who are on the U-21 panel come through the game unscathed and injury-free.  Prediction: Dublin.