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Eddie Brennan wants pre-season GAA competitions scrapped to tackle player burnout

The eight-time All-Ireland winner also criticised teams who disregarded the GAA’s winter training ban.

Eddie Brennan is managing the Kilkenny senior side in the Walsh Cup this year.
Eddie Brennan is managing the Kilkenny senior side in the Walsh Cup this year.
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

KILKENNY LEGEND EDDIE Brennan believes pre-season competitions should be scrapped in order to help combat player burnout.

U21s boss Brennan, who is also managing a depleted senior side in the Walsh Cup this year, acknowledged the value of such competitions in an interview with RTÉ Sport, but said it was time for change.

Following his side’s 3-9 to 1-9 loss to Offaly yesterday, Brennan said:

“I have won a few Walsh Cups and it’s a great way to test a few lads and see what’s in their bellies.

“But I certainly believe the Walsh Cup, an inter-county competition at this time of the year, has run its course. I don’t think there’s anything to be gained from it.

“The amount of matches young lads of 19-to-21-years-old have to play, the last few weeks, has really opened my eyes.

A lot of them are playing freshers or Fitzgibbon Cup and there are huge demands. I have seen some of their programmes and they are training four and five days in-a-row.

“Maybe it’s time to leave this time of the year, leave it to the third-level competitions and maybe the Walsh Cup has run its course.”

The eight-time All-Ireland winner also criticised teams who disregarded the GAA’s winter training ban and suggested they would be better off bringing back players later.

“If you’re burnt out from training in November, how are you going to be enthusiastic about Championship matches come May and June? I don’t know,” he added.

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Paul Fennessy

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