Thursday 14 December 2017

Brian Cody slams 'crazy' inter-county calendar and throws his weight behind CPA proposals

Kilkenny manager Brian Cody:
Kilkenny manager Brian Cody: "Club players should get the time to play their games at the important times of the year, particularly in the summer." Photo: Sportsfile

Michael Verney

Brian Cody has condemned the "crazy" inter-county calendar and backed the Club Players' Association's (CPA) proposals to "fix the fixtures" for club players.

The 11-time All-Ireland-winning Kilkenny hurling boss has thrown his weight behind a "more condensed" inter-county fixture schedule, as suggested by the recently-formed CPA, and suggests marrying the club and county calendars together.

"Club players should get the time to play their games at the important times of the year, particularly in the summer. The county scene waiting six weeks for the next game is crazy really, the season has to be condensed," the 62-year-old said.

"There has to be a real coming-together of county and club; it's pointless saying just draw up your inter-county calendar and then having a look at the club. You have to look at both together and see how you can marry both."

The passionate James Stephens clubman also feels it's "viciously dangerous" to have inter-county players away from their clubs for long periods, believing they are losing what propelled them to the county scene because fixtures have not adapted to changing demands.

"The majority of players are club players and it's just viciously dangerous to have county players losing the sense of who they are and where they come from," Cody said.

"They get into the county team because they're leaders with their clubs but as soon as they stop being leaders for their clubs, and it's very easy to lose track of the club, they lose the right to be county players.

"It's essential that club players are catered for and the whole thing should be looked at. I don't have the answers but it's essential that we don't just keep going doing the same thing because it has always been done down through the years."

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