Caolan Mooney joins prominent absentees from Down football squad

Caolan Mooney
Caolan Mooney joins a list of prominent absentees from the Down panel

Caolan Mooney has joined the group of prominent players unlikely to feature for Down footballers this season.

Former Australian Rules player Mooney opted out of the squad earlier this week after missing all the Football League to date because of injury.

Manager Eamonn Burns told BBC Sport last weekend that Martin Clarke, Benny Coulter and Dan Gordon are unlikely to feature for his team this year.

Down are set for relegation after five straight defeats in Division One.

New manager Burns made attempts to convince Clarke, Coulter and Gordon to return to the panel.

Clarke's brother John told BBC Sport earlier this month that the player's Addison's Disease condition meant that he would be unable to commit to the Down squad this year.

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.

"Martin would love to be back but the time and commitment that's required, I just don't think that he can fully commit to it," added John Clarke, who is also a former Down player.

Rostrevor clubman Mooney returned to the Down squad last year after spending three years at AFL club Collingwood.

Mooney, an outstanding youth player, won two MacRory Cup winners' medals with St Colman's Newry.