Offaly row boils over as Cribbin slams Duignan comments
MICHAEL Duignan's claims that Offaly footballers are ill-disciplined, lack pride and drink too much have drawn an angry response from team manager, Tom Cribbin.
"He's totally out of order. I'd be disappointed to hear an Offaly man and ex-All-Ireland medal winner talking about the county's footballers like that," Cribbin said.
"He has no call bringing the footballers into an argument that has nothing to do with them. It's most unfair to make comments like that because they're not true."
Duignan made his comments in a radio interview on Tuesday night while discussing the major row between Offaly hurlers and the county board over the use of O'Connor Park, Tullamore.
"You can't compare the hurlers with the footballers," said Duignan on RTE. "There are discipline issues with the footballers in this county. They don't want to train, they have no pride in their jersey, they're going on the beer and all that sort of thing.
"None of that is going on with the hurlers -- all they want to do is represent their county."
The station carried his remarks again yesterday morning, adding further to the negative impression of Offaly footballers, whose stock fell after a heavy defeat by Wexford in the Leinster championship.
Cribbin said that a lack of confidence and a failure to take goal chances cost Offaly dear in that match and to suggest there was anything else behind the defeat was untrue and unfair.
"Lads like to hear themselves talking. It's always easy to say there are discipline problems or whatever when a team loses.
"Of course we were disappointed with the performance against Wexford, especially in the final 10 or 12 minutes when heads dropped, but that's a confidence thing.
"We had a penalty and four other goal chances in that game and if we had taken a few of them, we would have won.
"We didn't, which was unfortunate, but it's no reason to start accusing players of all sorts. Even the Wexford players admitted that the game could have gone completely different if we had scored from some of the goal chances -- and look at what Wexford did to Westmeath last week."
Cribbin said it was wrong to drag the footballers into the row.
"It's doing Offaly no good," he insisted, adding: "I'll defend the footballers to the hilt because they are a good bunch of lads."
Meanwhile, the Offaly's Management Committee - some of whom watched the county's Walsh Shield final success over Carlow last night - met on Tuesday night, but decided against making any comment on the hurling row until after the championship campaign is over.