Saturday 19 August 2017

Row over dual players set to reach boiling point for Model minors

Minor football boss John Nolan is believed to be losing patience with Wexford officials and his hurling counterpart Eamonn Scallan after being denied access to dual players, with seven involved between the two squads. Stock photo: Sportsfile
Minor football boss John Nolan is believed to be losing patience with Wexford officials and his hurling counterpart Eamonn Scallan after being denied access to dual players, with seven involved between the two squads. Stock photo: Sportsfile

Michael Verney

Tension is understood to have reached boiling point between Wexford minor football and hurling managements over the availability, or lack thereof, of dual players in the county.

Minor football boss John Nolan is believed to be losing patience with Wexford officials and his hurling counterpart Eamonn Scallan after some dual players weren't available to him, with seven involved between the two squads.

Eyebrows were raised when the Model suffered a humiliating 21-point defeat to Offaly on home soil last month in the Leinster MFC, but it emerged that the Faithful tie was the footballers' first opportunity to put that starting team together despite commencing training in January, two months after the hurlers.

Another factor that hindered their progress was that dual players featured for the minor hurlers two days previously as they fell to Kilkenny in the Leinster MHC, before being expected to tog out again just 48 hours later.

With many of St Peter's College Leinster senior 'A' championship-winning side in their ranks, and a handful from semi-finalists Good Counsel, New Ross, it was expected that the footballers would at least be competitive and the result didn't add up.

Agreement

It is understood that there was dialogue between both managements and the county board at the start of the year regarding dual players and an agreement was made that they would be facilitated to play both.

Wexford minor football management expressed their concern earlier in the year about the unfair treatment of dual players, and a breakdown in communications between the managers, but grievances have not been addressed.

After the loss to Offaly, Nolan sat down with a local radio station to give his side of the events, describing how dual players were being discouraged to play football and pressure was being placed on their shoulders but the interview never hit the airwaves.

Scallan, an All-Ireland SHC winner with Wexford in 1996, saw his hurlers book their place in the Leinster MHC semi-finals last Saturday with a 2-17 to 1-13 defeat of Offaly, but the Ferns St Aidan's clubman has come under scrutiny on various media platforms in recent weeks.

Some parents have expressed concern that unfair demands are being made of dual players, who are seemingly being pressurised to choose the small ball over football, and with player welfare a hotly-debated topic within the GAA, this discussion looks set to gather more speed as the minor footballers prepare for a do-or-die clash with Wicklow on Saturday.

Irish Independent

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