Davy Fitzgerald won’t try to stop players’ dual ambitions
Clare manager doubts if it’s possible to combine football and hurling at the highest level
Clare manager Davy Fitzgerald: “It’s very very hard to play for both codes full out.” Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho
Clare’s All-Ireland winning manager Davy Fitzgerald believes elite intercounty players cannot play both hurling and football at the highest level but he has confirmed he will not stop any of his players from attempting to do so in 2014.
The issue has arisen in the county because a number of the All-Ireland winning hurlers won county football medals with Cratloe whose manager Colm Collins has taken over the county footballers. The club pushed Munster champions Dr Crokes all the way in last Sunday’s provincial final.
Collins’s sons Podge, a 2013 All Star and hurler of the year nominee, and Seán are amongst them and both have indicated they may wish to play football as well as hurling in the coming season.
Others involved with the All-Ireland hurling success this year were: Cathal McInerney, Liam Markham plus another two All Stars Conor Ryan and Conor McGrath.
Speaking to Clare FM yesterday, Fitzgerald said: “My honest opinion – I don’t think you can do both. It’s very very hard to play for both codes full out. But in saying that, I’m going to stop them and I’m not going to drop them off the hurling panel if they want to try and do it.
“I remember ringing Eoin Cadogan from Cork (former dual player who concentrated on football this year after four seasons playing both) and asking him what he thought. He said: “not a hope, Davy, very hard to do both.
“I’ve told all the lads what I think but I’ve told them that if they want to try both, we’ll try and make it work.
“I think two of the lads have expressed an interest.
“Even Podge or Seán, their dad is over the football. You’ve got to respect that – that’s their family. I do totally respect that.”