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16th Feb 2022

“The demands on players don’t make sense at any level” – James Horan slams scheduling of Sigerson Cup

Lee Costello

“We’ve had sessions where we have nine guys training and 22 not training.”

The Sigerson Cup final is to be played tonight between NUIG and UL, and although it is to be a star studded affair, including the biggest star in Gaelic football right now, David Clifford, one player will be missing.

NUIG and Mayo’s Tommy Conroy suffered a cruciate leg injury earlier in the tournament, just 48 hours after playing a full 70 minutes for his county.

Speaking with the Mayo News, Mayo manager, James Horan, criticised the scheduling of third-level GAA competitions as the average age of inter-county panels continue to drop.

“It’s just unsustainable. If you were designing it from scratch, the current scheduling of the Sigerson would be the worst case you could possibly design. The demands on players don’t make sense at any level and we’ve worked hard to protect our players.

“We’ve had sessions where we have nine guys training and 22 not training. There are more guys not training than training most nights. We have to have them there because we need to go through how we play, but this situation doesn’t make any sense to anyone.

“I’m not sure about the U20 competition and when that can be played but certainly the Sigerson must be pulled out of where it is. That’s the first and obvious thing that needs to happen. Can it be pulled pre-Christmas like it used to be?

“I think that’s what should happen and see how it works. It’s just not right and I’d say the same thing if Tommy hadn’t got injured.

“The Sigerson cannot be played the way it currently is. Inter-county football is getting younger and younger, and that age-group is being constantly squeezed. Players are trying to play for us, and they’ve got Sigerson or Trench Cup and the U20s as well.”

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