Friday 20 September 2019

Dunne dismisses plans for Minors and penalties

Wexford manager Liam Dunne is not one for championing the findings of the reports released by the Hurling 2020 and Minor review committees.

Dunne finds fault with several aspects of the findings and has expressed bemusement with some of the suggestions which he believes will do nothing to improve hurling at inter-county or club level.

The Wexford manager was critical of the penalty proposal which he describes as a 'joke', while the suggestion to restrict Minors from progressing to adult level would see players lost to the Association, as many clubs will not be able to field second teams, leaving a balance of players with nowhere to go.

Looking at the proposal on the penalty, Dunne believes a tweak to the rule, ordering players to lift the ball behind the 20-metre line, is a better alternative.

'If the rules of hurling have to change because of one man (Anthony Nash), I don't know where we will be in ten years' time. I've taken and faced penalties all my life. You could have kept the three men on the line, drawn a new line three yards back from the 20-metre line and told fellas to lift the ball from there,' he said.

'If they can come in with the ball from there they can come in with it, but the three men still have a better chance of saving it. It's not an anti-Anthony Nash or anti-T.J. Reid thing. Everyone would be given a fair chance, both the taker and the lad on the line.

'Putting one man on the line is a joke. I've been told before that common sense isn't in the rule book but we're making so much work for ourselves. That the committee had to sit down for this amount of time to come up with one man on the goal-line for penalties says a lot.

'In our challenge with Tipperary on Sunday, Niall Breen saved a one-on-one penalty from Seamus Callanan. But come the summer, with the dry sod, dry ball, and the 'keeper will not see the ball. That's the reality of the situation.'

Dunne added that if the proposed restricting of Minors from playing Senior had been introduced for last season, he would not have been able to play Conor McDonald in the Senior championship.

'How may Conor McDonalds or Joe Cannings are you going to have? Once in a blue moon maybe. Eddie Keher and John Quigley were good enough to play Minor and Senior but they are the exceptions.

'Minors not being able to play at adult level will severely hamper clubs,' he added.

'But they are missing the big point here. They are going on about player burn-out but there wasn't a hoot given about Wexford having to play four games in 22 days last summer. Now all of a sudden you have lads playing Walsh Cup and Fitzgibbon Cup and other competitions. There's no order.

'We are papering over the cracks here, trying to keep things going. Targeting those young lads who are good enough to play Minor and Senior isn't the way to go.

Now the clubs will have to take centre stage in discussing the findings before directing county delegates to All-Ireland Congress as to how they should vote.

Wexford People