Hot on the heels of the news that Offaly footballer Brian Darby has retired is a further blow for the county as experienced midfielder Graham Guilfoyle has opted out of the squad for 2018.
This is a further blow to new manager Stephen Wallace who already must plan without both Darby and Niall McNamee through retirement, Ruairi Allen and Ruairi McNamee are spending time in Australia, while Eoin Carroll, Peter Cunningham and Eoin Rigney are all long term absentees through injury.
However, it is Guilfoyle’s decision that has shocked most supporters in the county and Wallace admitted to the Midland Tribune that he would be a huge loss to the squad next year.
“I don’t like singling out any player or talking about an individual. I am not lowing him up when I say this. Offaly needs Graham Guilfoyle but Graham Guilfoyle is under pressure with work. He has started a new job,” revealed Wallace.
“He has opted out but if he wants to pick up the phone and speak to me at any stage, he can. It comes down again, you are either in or you are not. If a guy can’t commit 100% I commend him for saying, I want to but I can’t be involved.
“Graham said he struggled to give the commitment to his club this year. He didn’t want to come in and I am not making excuses for anyone. Graham has been a great servant for Offaly, he is still a young guy, only 26 or 27 but he will get exactly the same rules of engagement as the guy coming off the under-21 team. If you are in, you are in, if you are not, you are not. That is it in a nutshell.”