Wrap it up for xmas

Irish Daily Mirror - - SPORTS - BY PAT NOLAN

RO­NAN LYNCH says he would sup­port wrap­ping up the AIB All-ire­land Club Cham­pi­onships be­fore Christ­mas.

Last month the GAA pub­lished its fix­tures plan for 2018, with rad­i­cal changes mak­ing space for club games, in­clud­ing mov­ing the All-ire­land fi­nals at in­ter-county level for­ward by a fort­night.

How­ever, the club fi­nals haven’t been shifted from their tra­di­tional St Pa­trick’s Day slot, mean­ing the semi-fi­nals and fi­nals in both codes will still be strung out.

Lim­er­ick hurler Lynch, who won the All-ire­land club hurl­ing ti­tle with Na Piar­saigh last year, said: “Win­ning it on St Pa­trick’s Day is a big thing, a fan­tas­tic thing to have it on your na­tional hol­i­day and win an Ali-ire­land club.

“But I think play­ers would pre­fer to have it wrapped up pre-christ­mas. There is too much over­lap in the way the fix­tures are at the mo­ment.

“It’s tough to say it. I could of­fer a so­lu­tion, but there would be prob­lem no mat­ter what so­lu­tion is pro­posed.

“If we were to win on Sun­day [in the Mun­ster fi­nal], or Bal­ly­gun­ner, there is a huge break. Our semi-fi­nal isn’t played un­til Fe­bru­ary.

“You are not get­ting a break, you are go­ing to be in for pe­ri­ods train­ing with your county.”

He added: “If you look at soc­cer, the high­est paid play­ers in the world, they have a pre-sea­son tour of China and Ja­pan or some­thing for a month, whereas hurl­ing the pre-sea­son is eight months for an in­ter county team and we are am­a­teur play­ers.

“It doesn’t re­ally add up. Th­ese guys are mul­ti­mil­lion­aires like and they get their hol­i­day at the end of the year and a pre-sea­son of a month and they are back into ac­tion again then.”

HON­OUR Lynch won ti­tle on St Pa­trick’s Day 2016

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