Galway boss Shefflin hits out at underage hurling rule - 'It could easily have been managed'

Galway boss Shefflin left frustrated by rule that denies underage stars experience.

Galway boss Henry Shefflin.
Galway boss Henry Shefflin.
Image: Evan Logan/INPHO

HENRY SHEFFLIN SAYS he can’t understand why players who feature at senior level in the championship can’t then line out for their county’s U-20 side.

The Galway senior hurling boss agrees with Limerick manager John Kiely that players should be allowed to feature in both grades.

Shefflin is preparing for a first showdown with Brian Cody and his native county on Sunday but the following day Galway will take on Kilkenny in the Leinster U-20 semi-final, and already manager Brian Hanley is without two players who have featured in the senior championship.

Gavin Lee, a Leaving Cert student at Presentation College in Athenry, came on as sub against Wexford on the opening weekend and again last Saturday when he scored two points off the bench against Westmeath.

And Tiernan Killeen, a son of former Galway United long-serving midfielder Ronan Killeen, made his debut as a sub on Saturday against Westmeath and is also ruled out of the U-20 game next Monday in Tullamore.

gavin-lee Galway's Gavin Lee. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

A third Galway player, Greg Thomas of Castlegar, could also miss out if he features on Sunday in the senior match and Shefflin believes all of this is unfair on young players.

“It could easily have been managed. It absolutely could easily be managed. I’d be of the opinion that those players should be allowed to go back and play U-20,” said Shefflin.

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“Because as much as Tiernan and Gavin want to be playing U-20s, they would love to be and are aspiring to play senior as well. That’s why Tiernan, we could have brought him on last week but our defence did well. We were eager to because he’d a very good league.

“That’s why it was important that he got game-time (against Westmeath) because he is very much part and parcel of our squad. I’d be of the same opinion (as John Kiely). There’s no issue. Those chaps could easily go and play for their U-20 team.

“It’s a pity but these are the rules unfortunately. I think Brian Hanley probably had a good idea from the outset that Tiernan and Gavin were featuring in our matchday squads. Greg, as well, is part of it and is pushing hard as well,” added Shefflin.

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