The Irish Mail on Sunday
Shanahan dismayed by imposition of training ban forced upon Waterford senior hurlers
DAN SHANAHAN has questioned the sense of imposing a training ban on the Waterford senior hurlers in order to play off two rounds of a club football championship that ‘only three clubs can win’.
The three-time All-Star is a selector alongside Derek McGrath, who had no contact with his panel for almost four weeks after the county board fixed two rounds of football and hurling club championship matches for the last three weekends of April and first weekend of May.
The panel resumed collective training last Tuesday week, leaving them with less than three weeks to prepare for next Sunday’s Munster SHC quarter-final against Cork in Thurles.
Despite retiring from inter-county hurling in 2010 Shanahan is still playing senior hurling for Lismore and he acknowledges the clubs’ right to have access to their best players.
With only 12 teams in both the senior football and senior hurling championships, the scheduling of four rounds of club games in as many weeks in April raised eyebrows in Waterford.
As Shanahan notes, Ballinacourty, the Nire and Michael ‘Brick’ Walsh’s Stradbally have shared the last 14 Waterford SFC titles between them.
‘A few of the boys play football, there are a few dual clubs in Waterford. I suppose you must see it from the clubs’ point of view, too, they want to try and win their championship.
‘I just think, the football championship down here only three clubs can win it. That is not being disrespectful to other clubs. It’s really a case of do you want to play football for your club or do you want to play senior hurling for Waterford? That’s my point of view.
‘But you respect the clubs’ decision on that as well because they are training for football as well and when [players] are finished with Waterford they will go back to their clubs and they will play football championships, so we have to give them their time with their clubs,’ said Shanahan.
‘The powers-that-be decided that and it kind of... It’s hard to know. If we do beat Cork they’ll say it worked and that the break worked if we don’t beat Cork they’ll say it didn’t work and we hadn’t enough done.
‘I don’t agree with it, if they played the two rounds of the hurling championship before the football games we would have four to five weeks with the boys and it would be no problem,’ said Shanahan, who denied the suggestion his panel disobeyed the training ban.
‘We gave our point of view and we put our opinion across and they didn’t agree with it. We didn’t train in that time, so we didn’t,’ he said. ‘They came back in great shape, absolutely fantastic shape. These bunch of lads that we’re dealing with are absolutely fantastic.’