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Atkinson keen on dual role

PETER ATKINSON has declared himself fit and ready for Robert Emmetts’ meeting with Mount Leinster Rangers of Carlow in Sunday week’s All-Ireland Club Intermediate Hurling semi-final at Parnell Park.

Atkinson didn’t play for the London footballers in Sunday’s FBD League loss to Sligo after picking up a hip injury in the previous evening’s defeat against Sligo IT, during which he contributed 1-1 to London’s tally of 1-4.

However, the Bunclody native has allowed Emmetts manager Mick O’Dea to breathe a sigh of relief after confirming that he merely suffered bruising to his hip and isn’t facing a layoff.

Atkinson won’t travel to Ireland with the London panel this weekend for their games against NUIG and Galway, opting instead to line out for his club in a challenge match against the county’s hurlers on Sunday.

The 26-year-old, who featured for Wexford in last year’s Allianz Hurling League Division One campaign, is also in the plans of London hurling manager Eamonn Phelan for 2012 and the player himself is keen on a dual role if possible.

“Hopefully I’ll be able to play both but it depends on how the management see it,” said Atkinson. “I suppose it would be tough so maybe we’ll have to come to some sort of agreement.”

London football manager Paul Coggins says he’d like to have Atkinson on board but admitted it would be “very difficult” for the player to juggle inter-county football and hurling.

He said: “We’ll have to speak about it but it’s probably up to Peter at the end of the day. We’ve had a look at him, he’s had a look at us and we’ll see where things go from there. Peter’s a good player and he’ll be a big addition to the squad if he decides to stay with us.”

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