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Pat Spillane Uses David Clifford As Example Of Why Split Season Is Not Working

Pat Spillane Uses David Clifford As Example Of Why Split Season Is Not Working
Gary Connaughton
By Gary Connaughton
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While it has been a largely popular move among players, the split season has been a point of contention for pundits all year.

It was a common theme of discussion on the television airwaves throughout the championship, with the consensus on that forum being that it would have a negative effect on the GAA as a whole. To listen to them, you would have thought that the switch was a universally condemned one.

Of course, this seemed to go against the narrative that had emerged from both players and supporters. Club players are delighted to have a bit of certainty around their calendars, while it also allowed those at inter-county level to divide their commitments more easily. In all, it has been a success.

Despite this, some seem determined to keep the discussion going.

Pat Spillane calls out split season yet again 


Pat Spillane has been one of the most prominent voices criticising the split season in the media, something he has continued to do despite stepping back from his role on RTÉ.

Writing in his column in the Sunday World, he used David Clifford as any example of why the split season simply doesn't work.

The split season hasn’t done Clifford any favours.

It was foisted on us because it was deemed a success during Covid. Yet those were extraordinary times. Before the split season was adopted for use in ‘normal times’ all aspects of its likely impact should have been scrutinised.

Instead, it was voted through on a nod. Now the unintended consequences are coming home to roost.

Star inter-county players are being flogged under the new system.

Clifford is a classic example. He has now played 30 matches this season and could feature in another four if Fossa reach the All-Ireland Junior final...

And that’s not the only problem with the split season. Last weekend’s St Mullins and St Aidan’s of Ferns met in the Leinster club hurling quarter-final.

It was the Carlow champions’ first game in 14 weeks and St Aidan’s first outing in 13 weeks.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum, Naomh Conaill (Donegal) and Gowna (Cavan) both exited the Ulster Club Football Championship on penalties, because the Ulster Council apparently couldn’t find a date in its calendar for a replay...

I rest my case about the split season. This decision must be revisited at this point.

Of course, David Clifford is an extreme example. Very few players in the country will play that amount of games in a given year.


While the scheduling issues in other club competitions is unfortunate, that is down to county boards and provincial councils and not the split season.

Whether pundits like it or not, it seems like it is here to stay.

SEE ALSO: The Best Photos From The Epic Club GAA Weekend




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