Pre-season competitions have ‘to be forgotten about’ to help the club game – Eoin Murphy

KILKENNY GOALKEEPER EOIN Murphy believes the GAA should scrap pre-season competitions to help reduce the burden on inter-county players and facilitate the club scene.

His manager Brian Cody has been vocal in his concern at the direction the GAA is headed, particularly in relation to the club game. Murphy feels one obvious solution is to get rid of the pre-season competitions.

The pre-season tournaments are starting even early next season, with the 2019 Walsh Cup kicking off on 9 December this year. The National League gets underway on 27 January with the intention of leaving April free for clubs.

“We’re getting extra games but I think something has to give,” says the Glenmore club man.

“Whether it’s the league shortened, or pre-season with the Walsh Cup – I think maybe that has to be forgotten about. Because club seasons are suffering. April was planned to be a club month. We were given a couple of weeks to go back to the club, I think played two or three games within that month.

“Because the league was extended out, missed a couple of weekends because of the weather. Now I know there’s nothing you can do about that but we only played one game. We didn’t play our next game till July – 15 or 16 weeks in the middle of it.

Eoin Murphy during Kilkenny’s All-Ireland SHC quarter-final loss to Limerick this year.

Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

“So for club players, they have as much passion as us. We’ve as much drive to win an intermediate championship in Kilkenny. But they are being forgotten about by the GAA.
Something needs to be done.

“In order to facilitate the clubs, pre-season competitions will have to be adjusted there accordingly.”

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Former Cats goalkeeper David Herity has recently been appointed as Kildare hurling boss and Murphy says it’s a good appointment for the Lilywhites.

Certainly so. He was always someone thinking outside the box. Even when we were training, doing different drills, he was just a perfectionist. Obviously a brilliant trainer as well. Would give everything 100%, all of the time.
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“Always thinking outside of the box, about different scenarios he could face in a game. Or a goalkeeper. Or backs. Constantly thinking like that. Nearly always one step ahead. So I think the managerial side of things suits him. Because he is so organised and competitive. I’m sure Kildare will do very well.

“You see the good work he’s done with Dublin camogie as well, brought them on no end.”

Might Herity be a potential successor for Cody at some stage in the future?

“There’s a number of players there. Henry (Shefflin) is doing quite well with Ballyhale. DJ (Carey) is doing good work with the U21s.

“I don’t know who is going to step into the role. There hasn’t even been any talk about it. But look, if he does quite well with Kildare he’s obviously going to be putting up his hand.”

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