Saturday 26 May 2018

Martin Breheny: Overseas trips - but strictly no training!

Lee Chin. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Lee Chin. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

Suspicious minds got it all wrong apparently. They suspected that continental jaunts by Wexford hurlers (Portugal) and Dublin footballers (France) might involve training camps ahead of their fast-approaching championship ventures.

That would have broken the rules (no extended training camps allowed except in the ten days before a championship game) so would it draw Croke Park's wrath?

Cue simple explanations which should leave sceptics ashamed of themselves. Lee Chin, Ciarán Kilkenny and Michael Darragh Macauley enlightened everyone about the trips at various product launches last week, explaining that training had nothing to do with their travels.

"We decided to go off together and have a bit of fun in each other's company," said Chin. They even laughed at the silly media who somehow thought training might be involved. As if!

Spontaneous lads that the Wexford hurlers are, they decided to take a short overseas break at the very time training camps are banned.

Why should anyone be suspicious? Sure what else would players be doing in April except holidaying in the sun?

As for Dublin footballers, whose attention to detail knows no bounds, they obviously felt that championship tuning could be put aside four weeks before their first game while they took off to France to visit war memorials, lay wreaths and reflect wistfully on history.

"To see what happened, the different memorials and the different nations and all the Irishmen who fought," said Kilkenny. Macauley talked of "paying respects to the Irish who fought in World War One."

Truly touching, lump-in-the throat stuff. Question is - will Croke Park accept Wexford's sunny story and Dublin's tale of historical empathy?

Irish Independent

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