Monday 23 September 2019

Banner hurlers are being let down by county board - former star Lohan

Brian Lohan at the launch of this year’s Bord Gáis Energy GAA Legends Tour. Photo: Sportsfile
Brian Lohan at the launch of this year’s Bord Gáis Energy GAA Legends Tour. Photo: Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Former Banner star Brian Lohan has hit out at Clare GAA chiefs, insisting the county is "being let down by the county board".

The four-time All-Star has been critical of the county's top brass in the past and hit out at county board chairman Joe Cooney, who was recently elected to the Clare county council.

And he insisted that Clare need a more dynamic administration to keep pace with the changing demands of modern GAA.

"There's great clubs, there's really good people involved at both club level and at county level. Sometimes I think they're a bit let down by the county board. But that would be my own opinion on it," Lohan replied, when asked whether the game was in a good place in the county.

"I think you need a more dynamic county board than what is there.

"There has been a couple of controversies there recently in relation to the county board. The county board chairman hasn't been.... he was off getting himself elected for the last three months and, you know, I don't think that was showing too much respect to the Clare county board. So, you know, I think there's areas to improve.

"The county board needs to be more dynamic.

"I think they need to be... like, the county board's business is big business now.

GAA Newsletter

Expert GAA analysis straight to your inbox.

"There's a lot of money involved in it and I think you have to have that level of professionalism within that structure to get the most out of.... you know, to assist the teams and get the most out of the county teams. I don't know if that's there."

It's not the first time Lohan has been critical of the board, calling for an "independent review" of hurling in the county after Clare's 2015 exit from the championship and insisting it should be carried out beyond the remit of the county board.

That call placed strain on an already fractious relationship with former team-mate Davy Fitzgerald, who was in charge of the Banner at the time and who interpreted Lohan's call as an insult to his father Pat, who is a senior figure in Clare GAA.

Davy Fitzgerald then wrote in his book that the pair's relationship took a nose dive after they clashed in 2014 around a Fitzgibbon cup match between UL and LIT. Lohan was reluctant to be drawn on Fitzgerald's comments on those incidents but wasn't impressed by his clash with the linesman during Wexford's draw with Galway last weekend.

"I don't know if it's genuine passion. We're all passionate about the game.

"We show it in different ways. So, eh, you know, he has the way he does things and people have to kind of fit into that. But I think some of the antics, they're not great."

Lohan believes Cork are the team to watch this year and insists that despite their good start, Tipperary still have some questions to answer.

"(Tipp have to) produce it on the big day, particularly against Kilkenny. They've had good teams on paper, better teams, like those match-ups, but they haven't been able to beat Kilkenny, but that can't keep happening.

"I just wonder if 'Bubbles' (John O'Dwyer) is on a Kilkenny corner-back, that Kilkenny corner-back won't be giving him space. You just wonder will Bubbles be able to do what he's been doing for the first two matches.

"John McGrath will be all right but you just wonder about that Tipperary forward line, would they be able to keep creating that kind of space, particularly as you get later into the championship and people are looking at them and they're looking at how they're doing and there's more analysis being done on them."

Irish Independent

The Throw-In: 'Jim Gavin has achieved what Mick O'Dwyer and Brian Cody couldn't do'

In association with Bord Gáis Energy

Also in Sport