Saturday 20 July 2019

Cody hits out at fixture 'madness' for Fitzgibbon Cup players

Kilkenny manager Brian Cody. Photo: Sportsfile
Kilkenny manager Brian Cody. Photo: Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Brian Cody has described the potential situation facing Fitzgibbon Cup inter-county hurlers over the next three weeks as "really, really, really madness".

In an interview with his local 'Community Radio Kilkenny City' the Kilkenny manager highlighted a schedule that he says could leave players involved in five games in two weeks.

He also re-iterated his dissatisfaction with the new inter-county schedule, warning of the long-term dangers of sidelining club hurling for long periods during the summer.

Cody pointed out that the Fitzgibbon Cup gets underway this Sunday with a second round on the following Wednesday or Thursday before the league starts the following weekend. With further midweek Fitzgibbon Cup rounds scheduled prior to the second round of the league, the toll has him concerned.

"We have 12 players involved in the Fitzgibbon, not just us but all the counties. And then they talk about burnout. But that's really, really, really madness from a fixture point of view. And I haven't heard one person mention a single thing about it. But how there is not some kind of communication, whatever way you want to put it, between the people making the fixtures, it's madness. But it's the situation we're in.

"It couldn't be ideal, because for the previous number of years non-stop ringing in our ears was player welfare and burnout. There were all sorts of things being thrown at us about training and overtraining different managers dragging fellas here and there which was, absolutely for us, never the truth."

He also pointed to the absence of breaks during the league as unsatisfactory.

"Whoever goes to the final will play all the matches Sunday after Sunday after Sunday. Then the clubs are supposed to play away in April and then we're off in May," he added.

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"I'm merely pointing out the facts. Will that impinge on our thinking or thinking 'this is wrong', this is the competition we're competing in and we're going to be absolutely, completely taken up by the challenges facing us."

Cody's fears for club hurling as it makes way for a heavier inter-county programme have been aired to the authorities already, he stressed.

"Club hurling is not being catered for as it should be, it is suffering. The Kilkenny championship structure, up to last year, was really good. They knew when they were playing, a few weeks in between matches, That's now no longer the case, they're expected to play two matches in April and which they've got to prepare well because if you lose two matches, straight away there is pressure.

"At the minute you're supposed to forget about everything and come back whenever, whenever is whenever the county team is gone out of the championship or they might just decide we'll start against in August or September.

"That's not healthy, it's not healthy for players. Club hurling is suffering and is going to suffer if that continues and what I believe they are not thinking about is that, if club hurling suffers, standards suffer and everyone's standards drop and then they're trying to wonder where it all went wrong."

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