New Leitrim manager Terry Hyland pictured with County Board Chairman Terence Boyle. Photo by Willie Donnellan
Terry Hyland may be in the process of drawing up his first Leitrim Senior football panel but a former Dublin star with strong Leitrim connections has admitted he would be open to the idea of switching to the Green & Gold.
In what reads virtually like a "come get me" call in today's Irish Independent, St. Jude's Chris Guckian admitted he'd be open to the idea of joining Leitrim - "I wouldn't write it (playing for Leitrim) off, I'm 30 this year, I wouldn't write it off. We'll see what happens. I'll see if I get a phone call."
Guckian is facing into a Dublin Senior Championship Final with St. Jude's on the Bank Holiday Monday where they will come up against a star studded Kilmacud Crokes team featuring Paul Mannion and Cian O'Sullivan. But with Kevin McManamon and former Cork star Niall Coakley in their ranks, the southside outfit will be confident of causing an upset.
Guckian, who has won a National League medal with Dublin never made the breakthrough at championship, has been approached before about lining out with the county of his father - “I met Benny (former Leitrim manager Brendan Guckian, no relation) and we had a chat. At the same time I was trying to make the breakthrough with Dublin.
“I felt a new championship was coming up, there was a shop window here, if I put the right foot forward I might get another call back. Like, different managers have rang me at different points over the years, Leitrim managers, they obviously have a list and they go through it but no, I met Benny and I had a chat with him and John O'Mahony.
“It's something I did consider. At the time, I didn't (do it) because... why didn't I do it? Look, there was travel, I thought Dublin might still be on the radar but, more importantly, I wanted to focus on the club, Jude's.
“We were close, I know I'm kind of our captain and me missing trainings would have taken away maybe three or four per cent that our club needed."
But should St. Jude’s go on to win the Dublin title, Guckian, who turns 30 this year, admits the Club may still be his focus - “It's something that's in the back of the mind and is there. But I'll focus on Jude's for the time being.”