Tuesday 21 November 2017

'You wouldn't do it to a greyhound' - Dublin manager Jim Gavin not happy with fixture schedule

Mayo manager Stephen Rochford, left, with Dublin manager Jim Gavin
Mayo manager Stephen Rochford, left, with Dublin manager Jim Gavin
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Dublin manager Jim Gavin has launched a broadside at the schedule of games that players involved in the third level weekend play-off must endure, suggesting you wouldn't ask greyhounds to do what they're being asked to do.

Gavin was responding to questions about Jack McCaffrey's fitness in the wake of their 12-point Allianz Division One league win over Mayo.

McCaffrey limped out of Dublin's draw with Donegal six days earlier and did not feature against the All-Ireland finalists.

Gavin said there was no rush to get him back on the pitch, given the load he has had to take on board playing back-to-back matches against UL and St Mary's on the Friday and Saturday of Sigerson weekend.

"He's just a bit tight, Sigerson football," said Gavin. "There's so many experts in the science field in the universities but yet we see them putting players out to play back to back games on a Friday and a Saturday.

"You wouldn't do it any other sport, you wouldn't do it to a greyhound probably. To be asking inter-county footballers to play games like that, it's not acceptable really.

"I hope the third level colleges change it because Paul Mannion suffered from it and Jack nearly did as well. So we just said we'd manage his load and take him off the field.

Paul Mannion has also been rested over the last couple of weekends but Gavin doesn't attribute blame to their university.

"It's not UCD's problem, sure what can they do? They're fulfilling the fixture as it is, in the third level colleges. But it's not acceptable.

"You wouldn't do it. I wouldn't do it with the U-9s below at the club, play games back to back. So why would we do it at that level where most of those players are senior club players at home with their clubs or they're either playing with their counties.

"It's just not good enough. And it's the cumulative effect of the load. It's not just the next day, it's that impact that it has over time. I hope somebody looks at it."

His word will echo loudly in Monaghan where Barry McGinn ruptured a cruciate ligament in an U-21 Shamrock Cup game, after coming on against Derry the day after the Sigerson Cup final.

He too had played back-to-back games for UCD that weekend.

Online Editors

Promoted Links

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport