Monaghan’s Ulster Championship assault has been rocked by the news that star forward Tommy Freeman has decided to leave for America for “at least a couple of months”.
The footballer confirmed the news to The Northern Standard newspaper. Freeman got married earlier this year and it is understood that himself and his wife are making the trip stateside. The paper also reported that Freeman will play for the Leitrim club in New York although the player himself stated that he hadn’t all his plans finalised as yet.
Monaghan boss Eamonn McEneaney said that he was already resigned to losing Freeman even before the conclusion of this year’sNational League:
“I had spoken to Tommy last November and he spoke at that time about having some regrets that he hadn’t travelled to the States at some stage over the past few years. I suppose he feels this is an opportune time for him to go across the water and see what it brings him in terms of football and possible work. The fact that he made me aware of his plans before the conclusion of the national league is something that I appreciate.
“I think it would have been worse for us if, for instance, he was part of our championship preparations for the Tyrone game and on the eve of the match, he got injured and was ruled out. It’s a huge blow to the county but if there is a silver lining in all of this it’s that Tommy conveyed his decision to me in time for us to get our head around the fact that he won’t be in Healy Park and that we need to plan without him.”
McEneaney admitted that he tried to convince Freeman to change his mind and stay for the duration of the championship but the player had his mind made up:
“You have to respect his decision ’cause it’s part and parcel of life and, particular, for high-profile footballers.