Tuesday 23 January 2018

O'Grady exit 'regrettable' – Breen

Former Limerick joint manager Donal O'Grady. Allianz Hurling League, Division 1B, Round 4, Offaly v Limerick, O'Connor Park, Tullamore, Co. Offaly. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE
Former Limerick joint manager Donal O'Grady. Allianz Hurling League, Division 1B, Round 4, Offaly v Limerick, O'Connor Park, Tullamore, Co. Offaly. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE

Jackie Cahill

LIMERICK hurler David Breen has described Donal O'Grady's recent resignation as "regrettable."

Former captain Breen is the first Limerick player to speak publicly about O'Grady's decision to walk away, after the Cork native clashed with county board chiefs.

Na Piarsaigh clubman Breen admitted: "I was surprised as anyone else. I was just talking to him a few days beforehand. Himself and TJ (Ryan) were at the League semi-finals on the Sunday and then a few hours later I heard he's gone."

Breen, working his way back to fitness following knee surgery, insists that the Munster champions will nevertheless react in the "right way."

He added: "There are two ways the lads can react to it. I know the lads will react the right way. The rest of the management team is in place, which is important in the preparations.

"But I'm sure (championship opponents) Tipp will be eyeing up a Munster final now."

Breen revealed how word of the exit came through: "I was having a boring night in doing some work when I heard the news. Donal sent an email out to the panel which outlined his decision and how it came about.

"I played under him for a year. He was a guy I would respect, both in what he has achieved with Cork and in his professionalism.

FORCED

"His attention to detail was impressive and it would have forced you to be more critical of your game.

"It's regrettable it's come to this because, ultimately, it's the players and fans that suffer. I just hope that I don't look back on my time with Limerick hurling as one that's checkered with controversy."

Having achieved a first Munster senior and minor championship double since 1940 last year, Limerick had created a platform to move forward from, but Breen still believes they can enjoy a successful season.

Breen also insisted that the five-week gap between last year's Munster final and All-Ireland semi-final was "the real killer" as Limerick slumped to defeat against Clare at Croke Park.

He explained: "Even with a good A v B panel match, it's never going to be the same and we had three or four injuries.

"The guys were only putting back on the boots the weekend before the Clare game. We didn't have enough to play a panel match and that was a real killer.

"Three weeks would have been fine, two weeks even better, but five weeks is a long time. You train and train, but it's very hard to plan to peak with the way the GAA season is at the moment.

"You can't keep constantly peaking and for a guy like (Limerick fitness coach) Mark Lyons, undulating periodisation is a nightmare, even when you have the fixtures, never mind waiting on what road to go."

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