Thursday 23 November 2017

Inter-county break a novel but bad idea

The degree to which club activity is smothered by the inter-county championships in many counties during the summer continues to be a vexed issue.

Club versus county is a tough balancing act so we were struck by the rather radical suggestion from Jim Carney, journalist and broadcaster, in the 'Tuam Herald'.

Noting how much he was enjoying club action, he wrote: "I have always felt there has been too much emphasis on the inter-county game and after watching club clashes over recent weeks, I was left wishing we could have a year or two out from all county football, just to see would we miss it and by how much."

It's a pretty drastic solution from a man who once served as a Galway senior football selector but he would probably get support from frustrated club players who believe they are a forgotten species for long periods.

Of course, we could never back any proposal which would make us redundant!

Corbett on course to make hurling history

Can Lar Corbett reach a milestone never previously achieved in hurling? He's fancied to do it, having been installed as 6/4 favourite to win the Hurler of the Year award for a second successive year.

He has already scored 7-9 from open play in four championship games, a point more than he bagged in last year's entire campaign (6-11). Michael Fennelly is second favourite (3/1) for Hurler of the Year, followed by Padraic Maher (7/2), Tommy Walsh (11/2) and Henry Shefflin (11/1).

Bernard Brogan -- last year's Footballer of the Year -- is 9/1 to become the first player to retain the big-ball award since Jack O'Shea in 1985 (his second double having also done it in 1980-81). Brogan's older brother Alan is 7/2, with Kerry pair Colm Cooper (9/4) and Darran O'Sullivan (5/2) leading the way.

Bad timing from counties hit by league changes

Closed. Stable door. Horse. Bolted. Words which come to mind as several counties complain over the change in format for next year's Allianz Hurling League. There's even talk of the disaffected ones forming a loose alliance to take their objections a step further. But to what end exactly?

Do they seriously believe that last Saturday's Central Council decision will be reversed? The time to object was when the proposals were issued some weeks ago. Why didn't the likes of Carlow, Limerick, Wexford and Wicklow, counties who have been directly hit by the changes, not unite then and issue a joint statement publicly outlining their objections?

The media would have covered it in detail and started a wider debate in advance of the Central Council meeting. There's merit in the argument against the new format but counties who opposed it from the start should have moved earlier.

Now, there's damn all they can do.

Irish Independent

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