Club player is short-changed says Jude's man Lehane
IT'S time for Dublin GAA's Operation Transformation.
That's the view of the St Jude's stalwart, Don Lehane.
Don hopes that the club's six-day rule motion, which was passed at the county convention, will help the club player in future years.
Presently, he feels the club player is being short-changed. "There is a lot of frustration out there," declares Don.
"Players want to be playing championship in the summer period -- April, May, June and July. Other counties such as Kilkenny, Cork and Tipperary play championship in the middle of the inter-county season, but not Dublin.
"I feel playing championship matches in this period will help the county teams.
"In Kilkenny you have Brian Cody constantly looking at club matches to see how fellas are going.
"In Dublin, the club players are suffering from a lack of competitive fixtures, especially during the summer-time.
"And hurling particularly suffers because hurling is a summer game.
"It's crazy playing a hurling championship in winter.
"There's too much of a gap between championship matches.
"You'd have one in April/May and maybe not another till September/October.
"What would be acceptable to players is to play the championship matches in the summer months until you get to the quarter-final stage, and then conclude the championships in the autumn.
"Dublin is not the only county with this type of problem. The agreement of the clubs should be sought regarding the fixture schedule.
"After all, players are club players first."
Don would also like to see more Dubs in action in the Dublin football and hurling leagues.
"Club people will always go to games, but what about the neutral Dublin GAA follower?" adds Don.
"If Jude's were playing Plunkett's up on Tymon and you had Bernard Brogan and Kevin McManamon playing, people would be inclined to go.
"But if the inter-county lads are not playing, which tends to be the case with the league, there's less of an interest in it.
"The profile is not as high as before. Dublin players taking part in the league would be a boost to the competition, and also to the Dublin teams because you just can't beat matches for keeping fellas sharp."