Clare senior football boss, Colm Collins blames the qualifiers for killing off dual-players in the GAA.
This coming year there will be no player lining out in both codes for the Banner County after Pádraic Collins made the decision to focus entirely on hurling for 2017. His brother Sean attempted to play inter-county hurling and football in 2014 but has been a member of the football panel for the past two seasons.
As a manager, Colm treats every player the same regardless of the amount of sports they play. “They make up their own minds. Anybody that’s with you has to be there because he wants to be there. I don’t think it’s a major thing. I treat Padraic the same as I treat anybody. He made his decision, that’s it and you get on with it,” Collins said in an interview with the Irish Examiner.
Co-operation between managers is key to whether or not a player can play two sports at inter-county level in the eyes of the Banner boss. “I believe on a training level it can be done quite easily with cooperation but the problem is the fixtures. Both sets of managers, both sets of supporters expect a player to be at his best playing their code and if he’s not then he doesn’t really get judged with the same yardstick as every other player. Right or wrong, that’s the way it is.”
Colm points to the clash his son Pádraic Collins had to deal with in 2016 as a reason the qualifier system needs to be changed if dual-players are to exist in the GAA.
“There’s no dual player in Clare this coming year. We had only one last year, that was Padraic. I suppose last year the situation with the Roscommon football game on the Saturday and the Galway hurling game on the Sunday, I think that was an eye-opener. I don’t think you could expect anyone to do that. I think the death of the dual player is due to the qualifier system. Before, there’d be at least a week between matches if not two weeks in most cases so that’s no longer a possibility.