Wednesday 17 January 2018

The likes of Tommy Walsh should play with Carlow - Meyler

Carlow manager John Meyler
Carlow manager John Meyler

James Donoghue

It's 22 years since John Meyler presided over a fairytale victory in the Munster Championship and while he believes the romance is gone from hurling - he has a radical solution to bring it back.

In 1993, Meyler was in his first stint as Kerry manager when they stunned Waterford in Walsh Park and he believes a system borrowed from soccer could help improve the chances of an upset.

"The loan system is in the soccer in England, (and) the GAA have to look at something like that," said Meyler, who feels the GAA should persuade the players from more successful counties to come play for the weaker ones.

"Fellas that have a massive wealth of experience could hugely influence the development of hurling," continued Meyler who believes some of the recently retired Kilkenny greats should come play for his old county Carlow.

"You have the likes of Tommy (Walsh), you have the likes of (Henry) Shefflin, those guys need to be used by the GAA to promote hurling.

"Tommy Walsh should be with Carlow, he's only living over the road," said Meyler. "The likes of them would demonstrate to players the level of preparation, the level of intensity, the level of mental attitude that is required to play hurling at that highest level."

Such moves aren't unprecedented in hurling circles with David Kennedy winning an All-Ireland at centre-back for Tipperary in 2001 and then moving to Kildare in 2007.

Meyler cites the example of Ger Aylward, who won man of the match on Sunday for Kilkenny against Wexford, as someone who has learned his trade from the best.

"Aylward has been on the panel for the last three or four years watching Richie Power and Richie Hogan on the field," said Meyler and he believes this culture of learning from the players who have reached the pinnacle "is handed down and handed down" in the top counties.

Those counties are rarely in danger of the type of surprise which Kerry produced on that day in 1993; however, the memory of that game does not provoke any sentimental feelings in Meyler when asked about the chances of a modern day shock.

"The romance is gone from hurling," insisted Meyler.

Irish Independent

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