Monday 11 December 2017

Dunne stresses worth of Walsh Cup

Brendan Furlong

The Walsh Cup Senior hurling tournament may need some tweaking but the Wexford manager, Liam Dunne, believes there's still a future for the competition.

Dunne was reflecting on comments made by former Kilkenny star, Eddie Brennan, who last week suggested that it's time to bring an end to the start-of-year event.

Brennan's comments regarding the future of the competition did not wash with Dunne though.

'When Eddie was winning his five or six Walsh Cup medals, or whatever, no doubt he had few problems with the competition,' he said.

'Like every competition it can have its problems. Perhaps with some tweaking the Leinster Council could have a top-class competition.

'It can be difficult for counties, but I would like to see the counties having all of their players available as the colleges have the Fitzgibbon,' he added.

'With the eight or so Leinster counties, and having all of their players available, it could be an excellent competition. Every county has its problems with colleges players but I believe the way forward for the Walsh Cup is to make all the players available to their county.

'We have a situation where colleges lay claim to players and should they not play they fear losing their scholarships. There's a lot that could be looked at for next season.

'The competition is invaluable in many ways, particularly funding injured players. We had Tomás Waters receiving a serious knee injury a few seasons ago and it was of great benefit to him, so in that respect it has an important future,' Dunne continued.

And now the manager is looking forward to their final clash with Dublin on Saturday evening.

'Yes, it's another big game for us. It's great to keep winning as it gives all of the players an opportunity to put their hands up for the league.

'It's Dublin but it's May 29 in the championship opener when we are really looking forward to playing Dublin.'

With Wexford having to field weakened sides owing to players' commitment to their colleges, Dunne said 'the competition would be of greater value to counties and have greater spectator appeal if they have first call on their players'.

Wexford People

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