"If you do get a negative test you should be able to play" - Crummey calls for Covid changes
As the Delta variant spreads across the country like wildfire, the inevitability is that, like the Dublin hurlers last Saturday, more county teams are about to be hit where it hurts by Covid 19.
For the men of Dublin, they've suffered their fair share.
One of their biggest and most eagerly anticipated games in years turned into a bit of a damp squib for Mattie Kenny's team who, having found out on the morning of the game that they would be down four players (one positive case and three close contacts,) went into the Leinster final on a downer and with a severely dented hand.
Chris Crummey says that, given the routines and the quirks involved in preparing for such a game, the chaos didn't overwhelm the team in the build-up but at the same time, that didn't diminish the disappointment he felt for his teammates who he says were in 'the full of their health.'
"It was a big shock when we heard the news on Saturday morning. You were just disappointed for the lads to be missing out on such a big game. When you have a game in five or six hours, you're just so focused on yourself and ticking all the boxes and so on, so you don't really have time to digest it, so it's only after the game you think about how disappointing it was for them, the three close contacts that tested negative," the Lucan Sarsfields man says at an AIG Dublin GAA event.
It's a cause for serious concern for the half forward who makes the point that, unlike the British and Irish Lions, these are amateur sportspeople we're talking about who are, inevitably, going to be mixing in the community. Therefore, the 28-year-old says, close contacts who return a negative test should be given a dispensation to play.
"It is a worry that kind of thing. Covid obviously got into our camp from community transmission and like us players, we're amateurs so we're living at home, living with friends, coming into contact with people. It's not like the Lions where we can just put our lives on hold and live in a hotel while we're playing.
"Hopefully there won't be another county affected by it in the championship but I actually do think...I mean that's what testing is for, if you do get a negative test you should be able to play. Listen I'm not a health official and you have to go by public health guidelines on these matters, but as a player, when you feel at the full of your health but you can't play, that just is so frustrating. I suppose, even though you might be frustrated, you just have to go with it."
Three Dublin hurlers missed one of the biggest games of their lives because they were close contacts.
"It was always to protect the vulnerable and grandparents at home and so on, but they're all vaccinated now. I just feel terrible for them lads."https://t.co/hAFBFkmRBh
— The GAA Hour (@TheGAAHour) July 19, 2021
In better news for the Dublin hurling squad, Crummey says that Eoghan O'Donnell's hamstring injury wasn't a full-on tear and may not be as bad as first feared, though the Whitehall-Colmcille full back awaits the results of a scan.
"I don't think he tore it. He's gone for a scan, we're waiting on the results for that. Eoghan is a massive leader for us, he's one of the best defenders in the country so for his sake, and for the team's sake we hope that it's positive news."
On the same note, though they went down to Kilkenny, the intensity and the structure Dublin played with in that first half was a pleasing aspect for Crummey.
"We feel like we've been building game-on-game throughout the championship. We were happy with our intensity levels and our structure in the first half, they might have dropped in the second half a small bit as did our execution."