TIPPERARY minor football team manager Charlie McGeever has rejected his hurling counterpart William Maher’s assertion that the issue of dual player at underage level is a problem.
After Tipp lost the Munster minor hurling semi-final to Limerick last month, Maher insisted that the crossover of dual players involved in both squads was a factor in his team’s defeat.
Maher argued that his dual players needed to be playing hurling 100 per cent of the time, rather than splitting their commitments down the middle.
But McGeever disagrees with this view and referenced his own experiences in Donegal and even locally in Tipperary with players attempting to juggle Gaelic Football and soccer.
He said: “Elite players will play more than one sport. That’s just reality. “There’s probably more focus down here because it’s hurling and football but in Donegal, Jim McGuinness has a number of players that played League of Ireland football.
“I was brought up with that so to me, as much as it’s a barrier, it’s also a support because there are certain things attached to hurling that support Gaelic Football and certain elements of Gaelic Football that support hurling, like strength and conditioning, agility for the hurling and the rest. “It really wasn’t something that crossed my mind. We had a couple of glitches but it worked fairly well all year.
“In the last two years the footballers have won an All-Ireland, the hurlers have won an All-Ireland last year. “First and foremost, there’s a realisation that we are a dual county and people have to accept that’s the way we are.” But he does accept that players have a choice to make as they progress to the U21 and senior ranks.
“It probably becomes a bigger issue the longer they go on. I don’t know why we just talk about hurling. We have a couple of soccer players. Jack Brady is a top class goalkeeper who I think has the capability to play cross-channel and he’s hoping to do that.”