Louth's Fitzpatrick: Losing White a big blow26/04/2012 - 18:30:18
Brian White will be a notable absentee from the Louth team when they face Westmeath in the opening round of the Leinster Championship next month.
White has pulled out of the Louth panel in order to spend the summer in Boston. Fellow midfielder and Cooley Kickhams club-mate Brian Donnelly is also reported to be heading Stateside.
White had only just returned to the Louth set-up having taken a year out in 2011 to spend time in both America and Australia.
He was used as a substitute in the Wee County's crucial league win over Meath earlier this month which saw them avoid the drop to Division 3. Donnelly, who showed very good form throughout the league, missed that game with an ankle injury.
Louth manager Peter Fitzpatrick told the Drogheda Independent: "It was hard for Brian (White) coming back into a settled panel in February after a year out, but he worked hard in training and we introduced him into most of the league games, so it is a big blow.
"The next three weeks before the Westmeath game would have brought him on a lot, training with us and getting regular games with his club. I saw him playing against Mattock Rangers recently and he really looked to be coming back to himself.
"But I don't think things have worked out the way he had hoped off the field and he came to me last week to say he was going back to Boston.
"Losing a player of his calibre after losing Shane Lennon for a year is definitely a blow, but we have to respect his decision in the current climate and we'll just get on with it.
"We have a good, strong panel at the minute and it's all systems go for the Westmeath game."
Key forward Lennon will also be sidelined for Louth's Championship campaign due to hip and groin injuries.
Fitzpatrick's charges played a challenge match against Roscommon in Strokestown last Sunday, with goals from Paddy Keenan and Jim McEneaney helping them come from behind to earn a 2-11 to 2-11 draw.
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