After Conroy injury, Horan criticises 'unsustainable' demands on young players

‘If you were designing it from scratch the current scheduling of the Sigerson would be the worst case you could possibly design.’

Mayo's Tommy Conroy after the All-Ireland final.
Mayo's Tommy Conroy after the All-Ireland final.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Updated Feb 15th 2022, 8:03 PM

JAMES HORAN HAS called the demands on young inter-county players “unsustainable” in the wake of Tommy Conroy’s ACL injury.

Conroy had been double jobbing with Mayo in the Allianz Football League on weekends while on Sigerson Cup duty with NUIG in midweek.

His season came to a crashing halt when a devastating knee injury in the third-level quarter-final, which took place two days after he played the second-half of Mayo’s league draw with Donegal. 

Speaking with the Mayo News, Horan criticised the scheduling of third-level GAA competitions as the average age of inter-county panels continue to drop.

“It’s just unsustainable. If you were designing it from scratch, the current scheduling of the Sigerson would be the worst case you could possibly design. The demands on players don’t make sense at any level and we’ve worked hard to protect our players. 

“We’ve had sessions where we have nine guys training and 22 not training. There are more guys not training than training most nights. We have to have them there because we need to go through how we play, but this situation doesn’t make any sense to anyone.

“I’m not sure about the U20 competition and when that can be played but certainly the Sigerson must be pulled out of where it is. That’s the first and obvious thing that needs to happen. Can it be pulled pre-Christmas like it used to be?

“I think that’s what should happen and see how it works. It’s just not right and I’d say the same thing if Tommy hadn’t got injured.  

“The Sigerson cannot be played the way it currently is. Inter-county football is getting younger and younger, and that age-group is being constantly squeezed. Players are trying to play for us, and they’ve got Sigerson or Trench Cup and the U20s as well.”

Eoghan McLaughlin is expected to miss three to four weeks with the ankle injury he sustained in the second round against Monaghan.

McLaughlin’s UL face Conroy’s NUIG in tomorrow’s Sigerson Cup final, with both Mayo stars sidelined for the decider. 

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jordan-morris-in-action Meath's Jordan Morris. Source: Ken Sutton/INPHO

Meanwhile, Meath star Jordan Morris has seen his transfer Nobber to Kingscourt Stars in Cavan rubber-stamped by the GAA.

The talented young forward, who has become a key figure in Andy McEntee’s team since his breakthrough in 2020, has returned to the club where he began his underage career.

Morris’s loss is a blow for intermediate side Nobber, who he helped to the Meath IFC title in 2019 before their relegation in 2020. 


First published today at 14.13

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Kevin O'Brien

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