Thursday 22 March 2018

O'Sullivan hits out at lack of assistance for double-booked Rules players

Kieran McCarthy

KERRY'S Darran O'Sullivan believes that more should be done to help players caught in a club-v-country tug-of-war due to the International Rules series.

O'Sullivan confirmed yesterday that his club commitments with Mid Kerry in the Kerry SFC final on Sunday week have ruled him out of the Irish panel that will travel to Australia for the two-Test series, and he feels that county boards and provincial councils need to help players who have been forced to decide between club and country.

"That has to be looked at, that club championships can be put on hold for a few weeks, because we are playing an amateur game and we don't get that many opportunities to throw on the Irish jersey," O'Sullivan said.

"Playing for Ireland is definitely something that you would look back on after you have retired because representing your country is as good as it gets for a sports person. It's not easy for a player to choose between a county final and the International Rules, but county finals don't come around too often either, and I will be giving everything for Mid Kerry for the next few weeks.

"I'm not the only one that this has happened to and I just feel that more could be done to help players in situations like this."


The Footballer of the Year nominee admitted his frustration at missing out on the chance to represent Ireland on a trip he looked forward to after a hard season.

"It's very disappointing. After a long nine months of the year being in with Kerry, these trips don't come around that often," O'Sullivan said.

"It's so disappointing. I know there will be people saying 'your chance will come again' but you don't know what the future holds, in terms of form and injuries, or whether the series itself will be around in a few years. I feel like it's an opportunity missed."

O'Sullivan had hoped that the Kerry SFC final would be pushed back two weeks and has expressed his disappointment that an agreement that would suit all parties -- Mid Kerry, final opponents Dr Crokes, Kerry County Board and the Munster Council -- was not reached.

"It's definitely over now. I was hopeful that something could have been done, that the Kerry County Board would ask the Munster Council to push back the fixtures. But nothing has come of it."

"By all accounts it seemed that there was just no co-operation on it. The county board got on to the Munster Council and asked if they delayed the Kerry final by two weeks would the Council then delay the Munster championship by a week or so, but there was no budging."

Irish Independent

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