Leinster chairman John Horan insists the Walsh Cup has a viable future after calls from Eddie Brennan to scrap the pre-season competition.
Kilkenny U21 boss Brennan said there were reasons why counties like Tipperary and the mainstays in his own county had opted out of the January tournaments.
“I’ve won a few Walsh Cups but I would question whether its run its course too. There is a lot going on in the season and maybe leave this time of year free for the third level colleges and then get into the league. I think we’re seeing a lot more county teams getting more benefit from gym work and running.”
However, Horan countered: “It is important to again place on record the important role our January competitions play within our Association. The Walsh Cup was established in 1954 and together with the Kehoe Cup (SH) and the O’Byrne Cup (SF) are collectively known as the Accident Tournaments. Money from the attendances at these games is used to address issues of hardship suffered by players, and by ordinary members of the GAA in Leinster.
“This work is done privately and without fanfare but is an opportunity for Leinster GAA to play a role at helping out individuals and families in a time of need, whenever such a need arises and help is sought.”
Horan maintained Leinster’s pre- season competitions provide a solid platform for counties ahead of the forthcoming National League.
“Since the games have moved to the month of January and aided by the sponsorship from Bord na Móna, the Accident Tournaments play an important role in helping Leinster counties prepare for the start of the National Leagues. Such is the pressure for league points that the Walsh, Kehoe and O’Byrne Cups are an invaluable opportunity for them to try out new players.”
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