We have all seen it. You're in the dressing room ahead of a game with your club, and one of the first things your manager has to say is along the lines of this: "Lads, so and so is out there today. You don't need me to tell you what to do. Let him know he's not playing county now."
It's not necessarily a nice side of the game, but these things happen. Inter-county players are naturally going to be targeted when playing for their clubs, it makes sense as they are the best players on the pitch.
But these things can go overboard. Nobody like to see nasty incidents on the field of play and sometimes that is what can happen in these situations.
The subject came up on this week's Three Man Weave, the Balls.ie GAA podcast. The lads were talking about county players being targeted in club games, something Cavan manager Mickey Graham spoke about earlier this week.
He was speaking to the Irish News about the matter, saying it is a nervous time for inter-county managers:
The county players seem to be getting a lot of attention, special attention. They seem to be getting targeted in games, especially key players. It just doesn't help the county.
Any lads who pick up a knock at this stage are probably missing a week's training or more, and every session lads are missing now has a further knock on effect down the line.
I understand what's going on, it's just annoying that the lads are picking some many knocks in such a short period of time.
Maurice said he understands why this happens at club level, but it can go overboard at times:
Maurice: It's a good question and they do, you know from playing club football. There's a line there obviously, but if you're playing against somebody who is so many levels above you...
Mick: ... you have to try and stop them.
Maurice: Exactly. You never want to cross the line in terms of injuring them, but I know from myself for example that is something that you would be thinking about during the week, who you're going to mark and what you would do.
You might be tugging at a jersey or trying to annoy them, you're not getting into nasty stuff like hitting him off the ball or slagging him about his family or stuff, but you are reserving special attention for them, everybody does it.
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