Championship scheduling ‘ridiculous’, blasts Sheehan

Kerry midfielder Bryan Sheehan has labelled the scheduling of championship matches as “ridiculous”.

All Star Sheehan has called on GAA chiefs to urgently review fixtures and ensure that teams go no more than three weeks without a game.

He highlighted the dilemma faced by Allianz League finalists Mayo who will have gone eight weeks without kicking a ball in anger before their Connacht semi-final on June 24.

Sheehan blasted: “This has been long debated but I think the gaps between championship games are ridiculous. Mayo are waiting since the league final and eight weeks is an outrageous amount of time. I read an article somewhere last year where Antrim were waiting for six weeks before playing in the qualifiers. I think it averages out roughly at like 12 training sessions for every game. That’s ridiculous.

“I would love if the GAA sat down and just tried to tighten up the gap between the games. The league seems to be okay but maybe they could shorten the gap down to three weeks from six weeks. Week in week out is again too taxing on the body.

“We are not professionals so you can’t recover and get the body to perform at the level required. But I think they could do with more structure, have a week to recover after a game, train hard for a game and then build up to a game.

“It’s a long campaign from the start of training in January all the way to August or September. With the amount of training sessions, it’s a way to long. I think if they could shorten it up with games it would make things a lot easier even for the club scene alone. Our local club championship at home in south Kerry doesn’t finish until December or January after we start in September and October.

“Players don’t get a break and club players are missing out as very little football is played over the summer period. Some fellas can’t go abroad because they are stuck in championships. It gets messy. I just think if you shorten things players would be able to get their break and you could avoid burnout, plus it would help the club season.”

Sheehan is uncertain as to whether the introduction of an open draw would be advantageous. “I don’t know. There is fierce pride in winning the Munster championships for players and supporters.”


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