Friday 6 December 2019

Double trouble is costly for Fitzgerald's Clare hurlers

Clare manager Davy Fitzgerald has said he doesn't believe players are capable of turning out in both codes. Photo: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE
Clare manager Davy Fitzgerald has said he doesn't believe players are capable of turning out in both codes. Photo: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE

Cliona Foley

Podge and Sean Collins' decision to throw their lot in exclusively with the Clare footballers next season indicates that Davy gave his dual players an ultimatum for 2015.

It again raises the issue of players trying to serve two masters and how opinions are polarised on the matter.

A year ago Podge was a hurling All Star and a pivotal figure in the team that Fitzgerald led to All-Ireland glory and his brother Sean was also on the Clare hurling panel.

But with their father taking over the county football management in 2014, they also threw their lot in with them.

After Clare's All-Ireland hurling victory, Cratloe, who Sean Collins also managed, went all the way to a Munster club football final where they gave Dr Crokes of Kerry a fright.

The fact that their father was the new county football manager surely added to them doubling up and, while he agreed to it, Fitzgerald was clearly not happy about it.

They reportedly did much more training with the county hurlers but, after Clare lost to Cork, Fitzgerald noticeably said: "There are a few lads that think they can play both codes - you can't do it."

Both of the Collins brothers had played football against Waterford eight days earlier, but when that went to a replay just a day ahead of their Munster hurling opener, Podge went to the hurlers.

GAA Newsletter

Expert GAA analysis straight to your inbox.

His next game was for the footballers against Kerry on June 22 and two weeks later he started for the hurlers against Wexford and got sent off, which left him suspended for the replay which ended in a shock defeat.

A day later they both helped Clare beat Carlow in the football qualifiers and, a week later, they came agonisingly close to knocking out Kildare.

When Cork knocked Clare out of the Munster SHC, they had three dual players and Aidan Walsh's form in both codes this year showed you can excel in both.

Collins wasn't the only Clare hurler who didn't hit the same heights this year and none of the rest of them were playing football. The hope locally is that some compromise can yet be found.

Elsewhere, Kevin Walsh looks a shoo-in to become Galway's new football manager as he and Pete Warren are the only nominated for the job.

Who is your sportstar of the year?

Vote in the Irish Independent Sport Star Awards and you could win the ultimate sports prize.

Prizes include, tickets to Ireland's against Scotland in the Six Nations, All Ireland football and hurling final tickets and much more.

Simply click here to register your vote

Irish Independent

The Throw In: From 1955 heartbreak to 2019's five in-a-row - Inside the Decades of the Dubs

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport