James O'Donoghue slams GAA calendar following Tommy Conroy's cruciate injury in Sigerson Cup 9 months ago

James O'Donoghue slams GAA calendar following Tommy Conroy's cruciate injury in Sigerson Cup

"It’s only a matter of time before inter-county lads are pulled from Sigerson."

Kerry legend James O'Donoghue has taken to Twitter to vent his frustrations at the current GAA calendar and scheduling clashes.

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This Tweet was born from his rage at the news of Tommy Conroy's cruciate ligament injury in a Sigerson Cup game on Tuesday night.

The Mayo star was taken off just before half time, and it has today been confirmed that the injury is indeed as serious as they had feared.

Conroy played this Sigerson Cup game just 48 hours after completing 70 minutes for Mayo in the Allianz National League opening match against Donegal.

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Two games in less than two days, is obviously a huge demand on the body, especially at the highest level, and if these quick turnarounds continue, then O'Donoghue believes more injuries will occur.

"It’s only a matter of time before intercounty lads are pulled from Sigerson. Why put that fixture on 48hours after a national league game? It's cost Conroy one of the most important years of his career.

"Respect the competition and give it its own time or this will keep happening."

The GAA have recently changed the structure of the football calendar, making it a split season, with the inter-county footballers playing first, and the club season is then to follow.

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Derry's Niall Loughran is balancing playing for his county and Ulster University

This was to stop the overlap of players trying to balance commitments and the demand on their bodies between the club and county.

However, the fact that the Sigerson Cup is played slap bang in the middle of the Allianz National League, means that young county stars have to try and manage both.

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If you're the manager of a university Sigerson team, you are obviously going to play your top players, which of course, can often be county stars.

David Clifford played against Queen's University Belfast this week, after completing the full game for Kerry on Sunday against Kildare in Newbridge.

With this round of the Sigerson Cup done, he will now have to throw himself, into theory again, against none other the giants of Gaelic football, Dublin on Saturday night.

Himself and Conroy aren't the only stars performing this balancing act, as a wide range of young players are involved in both competitions.

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Of course, they'll want to try and win the Sigerson Cup, given that it's a competition they only have a limited time to play in, but they want to do their counties justice as well - you only have to look at Tony Brosnan and Jack Savage a couple of months ago.

Just hours after they had helped MTU Kerry to victory over UCD in the Sigerson Cup, they travelled with Kerry and even came off the bench to play in the province's McGrath Cup.

Manager Jack O'Connor received a lot of criticism for allowing the young stars to play two games only mere hours apart, but decisions like these don't seem to be changing any time soon.

O'Donoghue's point is valid - unless the Sigerson Cup is respected, and given its own window to be played, free of county commitments - incidents like Conroy's will continue to happen.