'We will not have hurling in 10 years time, it will be just elite' - Kilkenny legend expresses fears
Kilkenny legend Tommy Walsh has expressed his fears that fixture chaos at club level could have a detrimental effect on the future of hurling.
This summer has seen one of the best hurling championships in living memory with drama aplenty and a soaring high standard of play.
But Walsh claims the club game is failing and went as far as to say that if the problems are not addressed, "we will not have hurling in 10 years time, it'll be just elite, we won't have anything going on".
"The clubs is a massive failure at the moment, it's terrible, and it's in an awful place to be," said Walsh on OffTheBallAM.
"I don't want to be talking too much coming up to the greatest day in the GAA calendar but they need to sort it out quick.
"I would say if we don't sort it out, I would say we as in me, the clubs, the county boards and the GAA, if we don't sort it out we will not have hurling in 10 years time, it'll be just elite, we won't have anything going on."
Read more here:
- Why Joe Canning launched defence of his team and why this could be the greatest Galway side of all time
- Galway v Limerick countdown: Tribesmen hit with fresh injury worry ahead of All Ireland final
And Walsh highlighted the impact summer soccer will have on the hurling stronghold of Kilkenny.
"In Kilkenny, I don't know what way it is in the rest of the country, but summer soccer is coming," said Walsh.
"I thought we had no soccer players in Tullaroan, we have a few players in the town. Suddenly say your used to training twice a week and you have a match at weekends, suddenly you have guys playing soccer on Saturdays.
"Then I hear they only play Saturdays during the winter because it was dark, they might be even playing soccer in the evenings in the summer, so what way do you do it now?
"You talk about complacency, we need to sort ourselves out, you look at Limerick and the golden run they're on now with these young lads, where do they come from? Na Piarsaigh playing in club All Irelands, Kilmallock playing in club All Irelands.
"You look at Joe Canning, one of the greatest hurlers of this era, he couldn't win an All Ireland till last year, where was he getting his success? With Portumna, three or four club All Irelands.
"The GAA is a massive cultural community thing at the moment, we no longer have everyone going to mass Sunday morning and talking for an hour or two, we no longer have people calling to each others houses or meetings on the streets, now with your iPhones and iPads most people are nearly inside their houses at night, bar with the GAA, you're down at the matches the phones are gone - you're chatting, you're playing.
"I think we're in big trouble with the clubs if we don't sort it out."
You can listen to the full podcast here