GAA

'They're Just Clearing The Decks For Inter-County. It's Become An Elite Association'

'They're Just Clearing The Decks For Inter-County. It's Become An Elite Association'

UCC defeated NUIG by a point in the first round of the Sigerson Cup on Sunday, progressing to play IT Carlow in the quarter-finals this Sunday.

Speaking to Oisín Langan on the Electric Ireland YouTube stream of the game, UCC manager Billy Morgan was far from happy regarding the scheduling of the competition.

"Well, I could not be more proud of them," said Morgan.

All the obstacles, thanks to Croke Park... We were missing six inter-county players [due to] injuries. We couldn't prepare. The college doesn't actually open until tomorrow (Monday). We had no preparation thanks to Croke Park.

I don't know who's making fixtures up in Croke Park or who the genius up there is. They're just clearing the decks for inter-county. It's become an elite association. You see the players that are packing it in because there is no future for them.

UCC had three players in action for their clubs over the weekend. Killian Spillane lined out for Templenoe as the Kerry side lost to Oughterard in the All-Ireland intermediate semi-final; Diarmuid O'Connor played 60 minutes plus extra-time for Na Gaeil in their All-Ireland junior semi-final win against Kilmaine; Graham O'Sullivan also played 60 minutes and extra-time for Dromid Pearses in their South Kerry Championship final win against St Mary's.

"A couple of years ago, they closed December and January; now they're squeezing everything into January," said Morgan on Red FM's Big Red Bench.

"As well as that then, you have the All-Ireland clubs. We had three players playing yesterday; one started, Killian Spillane, and you can see how he was tired at the end. Diarmuid came on and Graham O'Sullivan couldn't play.

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"And McGrath Cup, they've started an U20 league and the National League is starting before the end of January. The inter-county teams have to prepare for that particularly with the way Croke Park has structured the thing that it's only the top two tiers getting into it (Sam Maguire).

"Again, it's becoming an elite association and they're just catering for inter-county, and clubs, third level and even second level are all suffering.

"What was wrong with starting the National League in March? I'm sure most managers would prefer the National League to start later and that would bring them into the championship."

Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

See Also: Two Weeks Of Craic On Cards As Oughterard Upset Star Studded Kerry Champions

PJ Browne
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