Collins’ son Podge played both inter-county football and hurling for the Banner County last year, but has decider to focus solely on hurling for 2017, a decision the Clare football manager has backed fully. The Cratloe man says he treats his sons the same as all of his players – his second son Seán also plays senior football with Clare – and that Podge was free to make whatever call he wished.
“Listen, they make up their own minds. Anybody that’s with you has to be there because he wants to be there,” said Colm. “I don’t think it’s a major thing. I treat Padraic the same as I treat anybody. He made his decision, that’s it and you get on with it.”
There is a few examples of inter-county players that have played both hurling and football for their county’s over the years, but in 2017 it appears as if Mayo’s Keith Higgins might be the only player in the country to combine both codes on the county scene.
Colm Collins says it is definitely possible to mix the two at club level, and for players to train for two inter-county teams, but he says there are too many crossover weekends that deny players the chance to play football and hurl.
“There’s no dual player in Clare this coming year. We had only one last year, that was Padraic. I suppose last year the situation with the Roscommon football game on the Saturday and the Galway hurling game on the Sunday, I think that was an eye-opener. I don’t think you could expect anyone to do that. I think the death of the dual player is due to the qualifier system. Before, there’d be at least a week between matches if not two weeks in most cases so that’s no longer a possibility.
“I believe on a training level it can be done quite easily with cooperation but the problem is the fixtures. Both sets of managers, both sets of supporters expect a player to be at his best playing their code and if he’s not then he doesn’t really get judged with the same yardstick as every other player. Right or wrong, that’s the way it is.”