Slaughtneil’s Brendan Rodgers already eyeing club final double date

Brendan Rodgers says Slaughtneil’s ambition is to give the GAA a St Patrick’s Day problem by reaching both the All-Ireland senior club football and hurling finals on the same day.

The dual defender has called on Croke Park to move one All-Ireland final to Easter Sunday (on April 16) should the record-breaking Derry club reach both deciders scheduled for the showpiece March 17 double-header.

Rogers, who was immense in Sunday’s Ulster football final win over Kilcoo as the completed an historic provincial treble, is one of 12 players lining out in both codes.

“Obviously it’s a scenario where you have to get there first,” he said.

“We have three games to get there before it’s a problem, with an All-Ireland football quarter-final before Christmas as well, but I wouldn’t rule it out.

“It’s definitely an ambition.

“It would be nice to give them that headache.”

Slaughtneil are the first club to land the clean sweep of provincial senior hurling, camogie and football titles.

They are due to play the Leinster champions, either Cuala (Dublin) or O’Loughlin Gaels (Kilkenny) in the All-Ireland hurling semi-final on February 4.

In football, they play first-time London champions St Kiernan’s in Greenford, London in two weeks’ time with either St Vincent’s (Dublin) or Rhode (Offaly) waiting in an All-Ireland semi-final on February 11.

Asked if he would line out in back-to-back All-Ireland finals on St Patrick’s Day if asked, Rodgers replied: “why not?

It would be some craic!” “But realistically why would you not play them on St Patrick’s Day and Easter Sunday, they are only a few weeks apart.

The Allianz League hurling semi-finals are scheduled for Easter Sunday, probably as a double-bill at Semple Stadium, which would potentially open the door to Croke Park being available for an All-Ireland club final.

However the GAA will only discuss the fixture clash if it arises.

“That is a matter for the Central Competitions Control Committee and they will review it after the upcoming games are played,” a GAA spokesperson said.

Rodgers is only 22 yet has already won three Derry SFC titles in-a-row and two Ulster SFC titles in three years.

He’s also played in their four-in-a-row of county SHC titles and they became the first club from Derry to win the Ulster SHC crown when they beat Loughgiel.

Sunday’s win over Kilcoo saw them create even more history by clinching an incredible Ulster treble, and Rodgers admitted it was the best feeling of the lot.

“What a time to be alive!

“I think this is the sweetest yet because you know you’ve done something special.

“It will be years before we can look back and realise what we achieved.

“You play hurling and football for the enjoyment and winning is part of the enjoyment, that’s what you work hard for.

“To be the first to do anything is a really nice thing.”


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