Few schedules are as demanding as that of the young GAA talent of the parish. Those who excel at Gaelic Games from an early age end up being promoted upwards through the age groups, under the maxim of 'if you're good enough, you're old enough'. This, of course, can lead to very early player burnout, and the following motion was passed at last year's Congress in order to curb such eventualities, setting strict limits on the ages at which players may compete at Under-21 level:
The U21 grade at inter-county football level will be replaced with an U20 grade, with players eligible to be aged between 18 and 20. It proposes no such change to the U21 grade for hurling, or at club level, in either code.
This week's Sunday Independent carries an interview with Clare hurler Colin Ryan, who has decided to take a break from inter-county hurling for 2017. He cites his falling out of love with the sport as the main reason behind his decision, but it is difficult to escape the fact that he may simply be burnt out.
Included in the interview with Marie Crowe is this nugget of information, which stretches the concept of player burnout to absurd limits:
Ryan played six years of under-21 championship with Newmarket-on-Fergus and no one batted an eyelid.
Six years! Madness.
You can read the interview in full in this week's Sunday Independent.