CLARE senior hurling manager, Brian Lohan has said the GAA will need to revise having no maor foirne at inter-county level and the ‘rushed’ format currently in place for the championship.

During Clare’s nine-point defeat to Limerick in the Co-op Superstores Munster Hurling Cup final, Lohan exchanged words with fellow Shannon man Kevin Walsh who was officiating working alongside the fourth official and appeared to issue a warning to the four-time All Star who did not waste in sharing his views with the official.

At one stage during the opening half, Lohan had to go onto the field to deliver a message to Clare goalkeeper Eibhear Quilligan, this minor excursion caught the attention of the sideline officials. “I was just trying to get a message into the goalkeeper in relation to the puckout, I went in about twenty yards into it, I didn’t interfere with anyone, I came back out, I suppose I shouldn’t be going into the field, I know that but I wanted to get the message out”.

With water breaks to get scrapped and no maor foirnes allowed, it poses a potential headache for how managements will communicate with their players while the game is ongoing. “Last year the doctor or medic was trying to get an instruction in on the field, it would be no harm for them to look at that”.

He voiced his frustration with the proposed schedule ahead for Clare which will see them in provincial action for four out of five weeks between April and May. “I don’t know why there is such a rush to get the thing over, I can’t see why we couldn’t have six weeks for that round-robin rather than the five weeks and forcing two teams to go three weeks in a row, certainly I’d be looking for a change there, whether it can be changed or not I don’t know, it will be with the Munster Council this week so hopefully they will change that”.

Playing All-Ireland finals in July is too early, the former full-back believed. “I would love to see the All-Irelands revert back to September, I don’t know why they are trying to rush to get the championships over, certainly to get the hurling championship over as quick as possible. The argument is about the clubs but a lot of counties when they go back to the clubs, they’ve six weeks when there is nothing happening, that was certainly the case in Clare last year, I can’t understand the big rush to get everything over”.

“I would be against trying to rush everything through as quick as possible, particularly forcing the players to go three weeks in a row, we’ve had to deal with it for the last couple of years and we’ve found it very difficult to get over it, I know Waterford got over it last year but then they played Limerick after four games in five weeks, it was an unfair battle against a fresh Limerick team. We don’t have to be trying to push everything through so quickly, I can’t understand why it has to be done so quickly,” Lohan added.

Limerick boss, John Kiely joked that the scrapping of the water breaks “by all accounts it is going to be a major setback to us, we’ll have to wait and see won’t we”.

There will be challenges in communicating with players, he acknowledged. “I know for a fact I was trying to shout in messages in the first half when the crowd was really involved and there was only 8000 here but the lads couldn’t hear me, this is a problem, the maor foirne was introduced in the first place to get messages in. It will be very interesting to hear the comments of others throughout the season when people will struggle to get messages into their team, we’ll have to wait and see. It was easy during COVID, you could hear every word said on the field during COVID, you could a fella whispering into another fella’s ear during COVID, you won’t hear a thing this year”.

While Kiely noted there would be plenty of games when colleges hurling is factored into the mix, the Galbally man felt this underpinned the importance of having a strong panel. “The more games the better, it will be challenging and very tough, that’s why we need to be building our player base and having as many players as possible ready and willing to play and up to the standard, our challenge is to have as many players as possible participating and adding to what the team are doing on any given day”.

CLARE senior hurling manager, Brian Lohan has said the GAA will need to revise having no maor foirne at inter-county level and the ‘rushed’ format currently in place for the championship.

During Clare’s nine-point defeat to Limerick in the Co-op Superstores Munster Hurling Cup final, Lohan exchanged words with fellow Shannon man Kevin Walsh who was officiating working alongside the fourth official and appeared to issue a warning to the four-time All Star who did not waste in sharing his views with the official.

At one stage during the opening half, Lohan had to go onto the field to deliver a message to Clare goalkeeper Eibhear Quilligan, this minor excursion caught the attention of the sideline officials. “I was just trying to get a message into the goalkeeper in relation to the puckout, I went in about twenty yards into it, I didn’t interfere with anyone, I came back out, I suppose I shouldn’t be going into the field, I know that but I wanted to get the message out”.

With water breaks to get scrapped and no maor foirnes allowed, it poses a potential headache for how managements will communicate with their players while the game is ongoing. “Last year the doctor or medic was trying to get an instruction in on the field, it would be no harm for them to look at that”.

He voiced his frustration with the proposed schedule ahead for Clare which will see them in provincial action for four out of five weeks between April and May. “I don’t know why there is such a rush to get the thing over, I can’t see why we couldn’t have six weeks for that round-robin rather than the five weeks and forcing two teams to go three weeks in a row, certainly I’d be looking for a change there, whether it can be changed or not I don’t know, it will be with the Munster Council this week so hopefully they will change that”.

Playing All-Ireland finals in July is too early, the former full-back believed. “I would love to see the All-Irelands revert back to September, I don’t know why they are trying to rush to get the championships over, certainly to get the hurling championship over as quick as possible. The argument is about the clubs but a lot of counties when they go back to the clubs, they’ve six weeks when there is nothing happening, that was certainly the case in Clare last year, I can’t understand the big rush to get everything over”.

“I would be against trying to rush everything through as quick as possible, particularly forcing the players to go three weeks in a row, we’ve had to deal with it for the last couple of years and we’ve found it very difficult to get over it, I know Waterford got over it last year but then they played Limerick after four games in five weeks, it was an unfair battle against a fresh Limerick team. We don’t have to be trying to push everything through so quickly, I can’t understand why it has to be done so quickly,” Lohan added.

Limerick boss, John Kiely joked that the scrapping of the water breaks “by all accounts it is going to be a major setback to us, we’ll have to wait and see won’t we”.

There will be challenges in communicating with players, he acknowledged. “I know for a fact I was trying to shout in messages in the first half when the crowd was really involved and there was only 8000 here but the lads couldn’t hear me, this is a problem, the maor foirne was introduced in the first place to get messages in. It will be very interesting to hear the comments of others throughout the season when people will struggle to get messages into their team, we’ll have to wait and see. It was easy during COVID, you could hear every word said on the field during COVID, you could a fella whispering into another fella’s ear during COVID, you won’t hear a thing this year”.

While Kiely noted there would be plenty of games when colleges hurling is factored into the mix, the Galbally man felt this underpinned the importance of having a strong panel. “The more games the better, it will be challenging and very tough, that’s why we need to be building our player base and having as many players as possible ready and willing to play and up to the standard, our challenge is to have as many players as possible participating and adding to what the team are doing on any given day”.

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Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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