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'I don't understand why we're playing with yellow sliotars. It's a strange decision' - Canning

The GAA announced the introduction of the yellow sliotars on Friday.

GALWAY’S JOE CANNING has criticised the GAA’s decision to introduce yellow sliotars for the All-Ireland senior hurling championship.

bord-gais-energy-hurling-to-core-2020-launch Joe Canning says changing the colour of the sliotars is a 'strange decision.' Source: SPORTSFILE

The 2017 Hurler of the Year has questioned the logic of changing the colour of the match ball from the traditional colour, with inter-county action set to resume later this month.

The GAA made the announcement on Friday, and will be using the offically approved sliotars for both provincial and All-Ireland championship games.

I don’t understand why we’re playing with yellow sliotars, to be straight up about it,” says Canning, who feels that announcing this decision earlier would have made for an easier transition. 

“I don’t know did they ask any players or anything about what the story was. Maybe they did. We’ve played with white sliotars under lights before in League time especially and I didn’t hear anybody saying, ‘Oh, we can’t use a white sliotar’. So I don’t understand, but it is what it is.

Two weeks before championship to change the colour of the sliotars without telling anybody, it’s Croke Park’s decision and you just have to go with it.

“It will take a bit of adjusting to get used to it. It’s something that we haven’t done. I’m playing hurling 28 years since I was four years of age so to change to something that you’re not used to and give you two weeks to get used to it…yeah, it’s just a strange, strange decision.”

Canning says Galway are in the process of ordering in a batch of yellow sliotars in preparation for their Leinster SHC opener against Wexford on Saturday, 31 October.

The Portumna forward previously played with these sliotars at the Fenway Classic in Boston, but doesn’t recall the experience fondly.

“I just hope,” he begins, “they’re not the same as the Boston sliotars. I think it was [Kilkenny goalkeeper] Eoin Murphy who tweeted the other day that we’d need about 500 hurls because we’d break them because they’re so hard.

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“I just saw one or two of them there the other day [at training]. But they were the ones from Boston. So we didn’t use them. I think they’re coming in this week. I think everybody was caught on the hop with that because we didn’t know until it was announced last week.

“I don’t even know who’s going making them or what the story is. Whoever the official ball suppliers are if they’re going to be the same as the Boston ones. We haven’t started yet as of now.”

Joe Canning was speaking at the  launch of Bord Gáis Energy’s sponsorship of the 2020 GAA Senior Hurling Championship and the BGE U20’s Hurling Championship.

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