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Lohan hopeful 'something can be worked out' with Clare's dual dilemma

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No 9: Frank Lohan

No 9: Frank Lohan

SPORTSFILE

Former Clare hurler Frank Lohan (L)

Former Clare hurler Frank Lohan (L)

SPORTSFILE

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No 9: Frank Lohan

Clare legend Frank Lohan is hopeful a deal can be worked out to solve the thorny dual player issue in the county.

Last year, the Banner experimented with the idea of players lining out in both codes as Podge and Sean Collins made themselves available to the hurling squad and the football panel, which was managed by their father Colm.

However, hurling boss Davy Fitzgerald was unhappy with that situation and asked his players to commit to just one code for 2015.

The Collins brothers opted for football and they have since been joined by their Cratloe clubmate Cathal McInerney.

Their absence represents a significant blow to Fitzgerald's plans for this season as all three had been part of the extended Banner set-up that captured All-Ireland glory in 2013.

And while Lohan, himself a former dual player, acknowledges that the trio leave a gap in the hurling squad, he remains hopeful that some middle ground can be found.

Losses

"(They are) big losses, you'd like to see them still involved," the double All-Ireland winner agreed.

"Podge is an outstanding player. Personally it must be very disappointing that he's not involved in the hurling but maybe something can be worked out, you'd love to see something worked out. I don't know.

"But they will be losses, they all bring a lot to the team. Cathal McInerney had a great club campaign as well."

Several counties have tried to make the dual issue work without much success.

Recently Cork's Aidan Walsh opted to concentrate on hurling having played for both Rebel teams last year, and Lohan acknowledged that his former All-Ireland winning team-mate Fitzgerald was in a uncomfortable position when he asked for his players to play hurling only.

"It's difficult. Playing both sports at such a high level is difficult. I'd like to see people being facilitated but you can understand Fitzy's point of view as well," he said.

"He's looking out for the best thing for the hurling squad and that's what he's tasked with. It's difficult. I played both but not for too long; it's difficult for the dual player because of the commitment there now. You have to think of the other players as well.

"If the duals are to work, you need both managers facilitating each other quite a lot. You might get that at club level but at county level it depends on the two managers. It's not an easy one."

Irish Independent