Monday 26 September 2016

Another year, another double-up mess

Published 28/10/2015 | 02:30

Portlaoise were this year’s over-stretched ones, starting with a win over Emo in the Laois SF final replay on Saturday evening, followed by a Leinster clash with Palatine on Sunday, which they also won
Portlaoise were this year’s over-stretched ones, starting with a win over Emo in the Laois SF final replay on Saturday evening, followed by a Leinster clash with Palatine on Sunday, which they also won

It wouldn't be late autumn without some club or other being forced to play a county final and a first round provincial championship game inside 24 hours.

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Portlaoise were this year's over-stretched ones, starting with a win over Emo in the Laois SF final replay on Saturday evening, followed by a Leinster clash with Palatine (Carlow) on Sunday, which they also won.

Because it happens in some province virtually every year, this type of double booking has come to be accepted as "one of those things".

It shouldn't. Player welfare is supposed to be high up the agenda these days, yet the best club players in Laois found themselves carrying a workload that would never be foisted on professionals.

That the Laois final ended level is no excuse. It has been known since the start of the year that the champions were due into Leinster action last Sunday so why was the final so late? Laois were out of all football championships by June 20, yet the county final wasn't played for three more months, leading to a problem when it had to be replayed. Once again, club players found themselves locked in a ridiculous bind.

Now where have we seen that before? Actually, pretty much everywhere in some form or other.

Irish Independent

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