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Offaly Manager Calls On GAA To 'Do Something' To Help U20 Captain

Offaly Manager Calls On GAA To 'Do Something' To Help U20 Captain
PJ Browne
By PJ Browne
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Offaly manager Leo O'Connor has called on the GAA to move the All-Ireland U20 Hurling final to another date so Charlie Mitchell can play in the decider.

Offaly qualified for the U20 final, in which they will face Cork, following a riveting victory over Wexford in the Leinster decider on Wednesday.

The final is set for May 27th, the same day that the Offaly seniors will play Carlow in the Joe McDonagh Cup final with a place in next season's Leinster championship on the line. Mitchell, who was sent off against Wexford after being shown two yellow cards, also plays for the Offaly senior team.

"It's a good problem to have," O'Connor told TG4, "one that we're extremely proud of, and extremely proud of Charlie Mitchell as well. From our point of view, onwards and upwards and away we go.

"They're going to have to do something. [Charlie Mitchell] is captain of the U20 hurling team and he's full-forward on the senior hurling team. Something has to be done. It's an issue but, look, we'll get over it and let the powers that be deal with that."

offaly u20 hurling manager joe mcdonagh cup

8 April 2023; Donnchadh Hartnett of Laois, supported by teammate Liam O'Connell, 7, in action against Offaly players Brian Duignan, 14, and Charlie Mitchell of Offaly during the Joe McDonagh Cup Round 1 match between Offaly and Laois at Glenisk O'Connor Park in Tullamore, Offaly. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

O'Connor said it wasn't easy beating Wexford with 14 players.


"I thought [the sending off] was a little bit harsh but that's the way it goes," he said.

"You take those things, and we just drove on. It's down to discipline at the end of the day, and we were very disciplined with 14 players. We crowded out that middle third of the field and just got the breaks off it.


"As I said last year, they are a special bunch of lads. They have years of hurling ahead of them, and they have to stay focused on what they are doing.

"Some of them are going on doing their Leaving Cert in a month's time. It's most important to stay focused, keep them grounded and we go one game at a time.

"We go one game at a time, we're in an All-Ireland final. At the end of the day, they're boys and I think they've become men tonight. There were some scores in the first half that were absolutely top drawer. We'll regroup. We have a recovery session [on Thursday]."



In Pictures: Magic Scenes As Offaly Win Leinster U20 Hurling Title



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