As attractive as the Limerick-Tipperary trilogy in the senior hurling championship was — and TV ratings proved the games were compulsive viewing — the downside was that the extra games had interfered with domestic fixtures in the two counties. This in turn, has led to club players having to be neglected.
Once more, the club v county issue has been brought sharply into focus, he pointed out in his programme notes for yesterday’s final in Thurles.
Agreeing the qualifier system was a further complication, he said the planning of fixtures for club players was difficult at the best of times.
“But, when there are two unexpected replays — and the qualifiers — it is not possible. The fixtures for the U21 hurling championship had to be reviewed and changed, placing yet another burden on the counties to proceed with their championships,” he said.
“I accept that the needs and demands of the club players has been neglected as a result.
“Is this the appropriate time of the year for the U21 championship to be played? Should we continue playing this championship if it is interfering with club activity? Have players at this level got sufficient activity at club and county levels — particularly if they are dual players?’’
While they all wanted to see their own county teams progressing in the championships, he said, this should not be at the expense of “curtailing and delaying” club championships and league games to late autumn.