On Friday night in Newtowncashel the Leinster Vocational Schools final was played between Longford and Kildare – with Longford winning comfortably by 2-14 to 2-4. It was a significant victory for the home county who had also beaten Dublin along the way.
One of the players on the Kildare team was their captain Wayne Fitzpatrick who scored 1-2. He was aged 17 last September. But he was also selected to play for his club Monasterevin in the All-Ireland Club IFC semi-final against Kerry side Finuge, led by Paul Galvin and new Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice. The game was in Limerick yesterday, Finuge winning 0-9 to 0-5.
Needless to say, frantic efforts were made to avoid this near clash of fixtures but nothing was done to facilitate the young man involved. Interestingly, the final of the McGrath Cup between Kerry and Tipperary, which had also been fixed for yesterday, was changed midweek to Saturday to facilitate Fitzmaurice and avoid a clash on the Sunday which made sense.
Now there are still prominent GAA people who will say player burnout is a load of nonsense and young lads will always want to play games as often as they can.
But at what cost?