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Cork plan no good for clubs

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Rory O'Connor

Rory O'Connor

SPORTSFILE

Rory O'Connor

Wexford hurler Rory O'Connor says the failed Cork motion to play club championship matches without county players would, had it passed, have been the first move towards professionalism of the inter-county game.

Option C, which garnered 52 votes at a specially-convened Cork county board meeting on Tuesday night, made provision for five group games in a newly-restructured senior Championship to be run during summer with county players ineligible for two of the five group games.

"If you forget who made you it's just going to go professional," O'Connor insisted.

Knees

"It's always good to go back to your club to get cut in half and cut below the knees by club players telling you how bad you are with Wexford.

"It's what makes the GAA a community-based thing, if you forget about the club and the county players don't play club, you're slowly going to lose links with it."

For all that, O'Connor admits: "I don't understand how club players actually stick around for us and wait for us to come back (after the inter-county season is over).

"It's an awful thing. That's why the fixtures need to be looked at."

Eventually, O'Connor said he sees at least a semi-professional element to inter-county football and hurling.

"I'd say when I'm retiring there'll be lads starting off and they'll be on a wage, that's the way I think it's going anyway." he reckoned.

"If it goes (levels of commitment at inter-county) any further, lads nearly have to stop working.

"You'd be nearly catching up with college work at all hours of the night. I don't know how lads do it."