IT Carlow manager and Kilkenny selector DJ Carey has shared his thoughts on the demand on college players during this extremely busy time in the GAA calendar.
A number of county players starred for the college on the night including Cathal Dunbar, Enda Rowland, Richie Leahy and Niall Brassil, however, before these players can focus on the knock-out stage of the competition, they must set into their first outing in the Allianz National League just days before.
Speaking on the Electric Ireland live stream following their win, Kilkenny legend Carey admitted that college players are tired, making their preparations “very difficult”.
“This college thing is very difficult. Every college is in the same boat but county teams seem to be training very, very hard at the moment and it’s very hard to get our hands on them. As I say, all colleges are the same.
“That’s why I think we need to be shouting from the rooftops about all these games that are going on and all the training that’s going on because players are tired, there’s no doubt about it, they are tired at the moment. If they’re having serious sessions a night or two ago, well then it’s very hard to come out tonight and play at your very best.
“That’s not just from our point of view, that’s from the players in general.”
Carey believes the current structure of the GAA calendar is preventing college teams from bonding properly while blocking managers’ full access to the players.
He hopes that with preseason finished, the burden on players may ease while allowing them to focus more on the Electric Ireland Fitzgibbon Cup.
“The more games that you play, you’re getting to know each other better. We can’t train at the moment because Wexford could be training on a Monday, Kilkenny could be training on a Tuesday, Laois could be training on a Wednesday, it’s all mixed.
“The more games that you can play together and the more you can have players to yourself, the better. Hopefully, now that some of the heavy flogging is over at the moment for a couple of weeks with the National League coming up, the heavy flogging of training is over, we can get our hands on the players and get a good run into it now.”