Tuesday 23 January 2018

Three weeks for All-Ireland replay too long a wait - Joe Canning

Galway forward Joe Canning believes three weeks is too long to wait for replay for the All-Ireland hurling final replay
Galway forward Joe Canning believes three weeks is too long to wait for replay for the All-Ireland hurling final replay
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

A three-week gap between a drawn and replayed All-Ireland final is too long, Galway's Joe Canning has claimed.

Canning accepts that there are logistical difficulties for administrators preparing for an All-Ireland final replay – to be played on Saturday, September 28 – that are different to any other game, but having experienced a similar delay last year he is certain that three weeks is too long.

"The next weekend would be ideal or even the weekend after but obviously that can't happen," said Canning, as Clare and Cork continued to digest the anti-climatic feel that came with last Sunday's draw.

"Three weeks is just dragging it out too much. It's not a physical thing at all, lads are going to be fit.

"It's how they deal with it mentally – and I suppose mental fatigue more so than anything – trying to build yourself up mentally for the game and have people talking to you.

"If it was the week after, even the Saturday after, it would be better," he added.

Canning, a Bord Gais ambassador for the All-Ireland U-21 hurling championship, would not like to see extra-time played to decide a winner on the day, however.

Prefer

"I'd rather the replay," he said. "If you were coming back into it maybe you would like extra-time, if you were leading the whole time and got caught at the end, maybe you would prefer the replay.

"You can look at it in different ways. But for me, extra-time for a final is not the way to go."

Canning believes the involvement of Clare players in tomorrow's U-21 final against Antrim will be a "welcome distraction".

"It breaks up the three weeks. It is very difficult mentally more than anything to come down and play an All-Ireland final," he said.

"You are going into it thinking you are going to win or lose. You never really think of the draw.

"It would be difficult for the Cork lads to try to pass the time as quickly as possible because those three weeks are the slowest ever.

"It would be a nice distraction to get an extra week out of it."

Canning acknowledges that this crop of young Clare players are "up there" with the best of underage teams in the past, but he would still like to be able to measure them against Kilkenny to see how good they are.

"You would still like to compare them against a Kilkenny team and they haven't faced that team this year," he said.

"You would always try and pit yourself against the best and the Cats have been the best over the past number of years.

"That's one you would still like to see and wonder how the young lads would get on against the likes of Tommy Walsh, JJ (Delaney) and the boys."

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