Clare secretary Pat Fitzgerald has pointed the finger of blame for some of the county’s senior hurlers’ failings this year at “a small cohort of players”.

Defending and applauding his son Davy who stepped down in October, Fitzgerald indicated a proportion of those on the field had to take their share of the blame for the mediocre championship campaign.

In his annual report, Fitzgerald writes: “Davy’s tactical approach was criticised, the same one that had guided them to All-Ireland and national league titles, and he appeared under constant scrutiny.

“Yet the two goals Clare leaked to Galway were horrendous defensive blunders and for those, the players have to ship the blame.

“While Davy had a year to run, he was swimming against the tide as a cohort of people, who never really endorsed his appointment, pushed the keyboards to stir up opposition to him seeing out his tenure. When some of the players expressed their wishes for change, he bowed out in a very dignified manner, thereby eliminating the possibility of acrimony, conflict, and bitter division.

“However, in my opinion there are a small cohort of players that need to analyse their own performances and commitment over recent years.

“All decision-making has to have the imprimatur of the delegates and the clubs they represent. That’s the way it always has been and that’s the way it will remain.”

The secretary stresses Fitzgerald’s successors Donal Moloney and Gerry O’Connor will be fully assisted by the county board. “They have strong credentials and they were entitled to the job on their track record. I can assure you that they have the full support and backing of the county board and whatever help and cooperation can be afforded them will be forthcoming.”

Meanwhile, the board recorded a €118,736 profit this year, their income amounting to €1.85m and augmented by the league finals appearances and replays in both senior county deciders.

As the GAA dot the i’s and cross the t’s on their new media rights package, O’Callaghans Mills are proposing that all senior inter-county championship games shown on live TV also be made available on RTÉ and/or TG4.

Dublin failed in having a similar motion passed last year and it remains to be seen if the motion, if passed by Clare next week, would be allowed on the Clár of Congress in Croke Park in February.

O’Callaghans Mills are also calling for the regulation duration of inter-county football and hurling games to be reduced from 70 to 60 minutes. Clooney-Quin are calling for the hand-passed goal outside the small parallelogram in hurling to be reinstated.

However, it is not a playing rules year for clubs and therefore it won’t be heard at national level.


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