Tuesday 25 October 2016

Power: 'Open championship' would spice up hurling

Michael Verney

Published 19/02/2016 | 02:30

Richie Power, former Kilkenny attacker Photo: Sportsfile
Richie Power, former Kilkenny attacker Photo: Sportsfile

Having spent over a decade mixing it with hurling's elite, Richie Power believes changes are needed "to spice up" the game and he has called for a radical championship reform.

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While acknowledging the strong provincial championships in Munster and Leinster, the former Kilkenny attacker feels adjustments are needed including addressing the long lay-off between games.

"I would like to see an open championship at some stage to really spice things up. Also I think six weeks between games is absolutely ridiculous; at most players should be waiting three weeks to see action again," Power told sportstalk.ie.

A crippling knee injury forced the gifted Power to hang up his boots aged 30 last month but he's thankful that he never had to endure what some players do in terms of overtraining, particularly those trying to combine county and Fitzgibbon Cup commitments

The eight-time All-Ireland medallist believes one of the many secrets to Kilkenny's unprecedented success is the role of rest in their training programme.

"To be fair, we are very lucky in Kilkenny that we have never been dogged in training. The lads always put a huge emphasis on recovery and freshness," he said.

"But I have heard some stories about some counties which put huge pressure on players, and in particular college players. It's an amateur sport at the end of the day, some managers forget this concept."

Despite his premature retirement, Power is glad he persevered through his injury nightmare with his last day in black and amber helping the Cats to back-to-back All-Ireland titles.

"There were a lot of times I felt like packing it in to be honest. But I just wasn't happy to go out that way, I really wanted to finish on my own terms and I wanted a clear run to see what would happen."

Elsewhere, the throw-in times for the All-Ireland club finals have been confirmed with Na Piarsaigh and Cushendall clashing in the hurling decider (2.0) followed by the meeting of Castlebar Mitchels and Ballyboden St Enda's at 4.0.

Irish Independent

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