Browne hits out at training holiday rule
WATERFORD veteran Tony Browne has hit out at the rule which saw the Mayo footballers pull out of a training holiday earlier this year.
The Deise hurlers were one of a handful of inter-county squads to take in some warm-weather training earlier this season but Mayo pulled the plug on their trip to avoid conflict with Croke Park.
A rule brought in last year, which aims to give players more time with their clubs, states that senior inter-county panels are not permitted to go on training weekends, or training of longer duration, after the conclusion of the league, except during the 13 days prior to a senior championship game (20 days in the case of an All-Ireland final).
"Inter-county players put an awful lot into the game over the year and a lot of money is involved in it too, and to knock them for going away for a couple of days maybe is a little bit wrong.
"I think the least an inter-county player deserves is maybe four or five days away. It's not a holiday, it's really a training camp in preparation for the Championship so I don't think they should be knocked for that.
"It's like getting three weeks' training in, in maybe three or four days. Just for tactics and different things that you want to work on during the year. It keeps you away from everyone and you can focus in and concentrate a little bit more."
And while the 36-year-old conceded that this will probably be his last season in an inter-county jersey, he insists he still feels he can cope with the demands of the game at the highest level.
"Every time I walk in from that field there I say, 'That's the last year!' Finishing last year I probably did say, 'That's the last throw of the dice'," Browne continued. "But in saying that, for some strange reason the body felt good at the end of last season. After Kilkenny beating us I felt we could go on for another six or seven weeks.
"I don't really put a time frame on it to tell you the truth. I just go on how I feel in February or March. Looking at it, my age and what have you, I think this is the last year."