Down boss Eamon Burns tracking Martin Clarke's progress

Martin Clarke has not played for Down since 2011
Martin Clarke has not played for Down since 2011

New Down manager Eamon Burns says he has yet to speak to former Aussie Rules star Martin Clarke about returning to inter-county action in 2016.

The 28-year-old, who has Addison's Disease, is back playing colleges football with Queen's in Belfast.

Clarke has said he would jump at the chance to resume his Down career.

"I have spoken to James McCartan about him and we will keep an eye on him during the McKenna Cup and see how things go in the Sigerson," said Burns.

"We could make a decision then. He has been managing the medical condition he has."

Clarke, who had two spells with Collingwood in the AFL, has not played for Down since 2011.

Addison's Disease is a disorder of the adrenal glands which can lead to flu-like symptoms, but it can be effectively controlled by treatment.

Manager Burns, who won the All-Ireland as a Down player in 1991 and 1994, is hoping star forward Benny Coulter could also return to the panel.

Mayobridge man Coulter announced last year that he was retiring from inter-county football.

Coulter, 33, made his senior inter-county debut in 2000 and, like Clarke, played for the Mourne men in the 2010 All-Ireland final.

"I have spoken to Benny and he has some work commitments," said Burns.

"He has not committed to us yet."

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