Laois hurling manager Eddie Brennan has hit out at the scheduling of the pre-season Walsh Cup competition and says that competition “serves no purpose”.
The 2020 season gets underway for Laois on Sunday when they travel to Carlow for their first game of the Walsh Cup – though they couldn’t fulfil last week’s game away to Dublin which has been rescheduled for the New Year.
“Sunday’s game is a hurdle that we have to clear and a fixture that we have to play in but these competitions serve no purpose and I think they have to be scrapped.
“Between league and O’Byrne Cup, the GAA are putting two competitions into three of the worst months of the year – December, January and February – and I really don’t see the sense in it.
“I think this time of year should be about collective training and getting conditioning work done in the gym.”
Brennan gave an update on his squad which he says is “thin on the ground at the moment” with Eanna Lyons, Mark Kavanagh and Lee Cleere out through injury or illness and the likes of Cha Dwyer, Ben Conroy, Stephen ‘Picky’ Maher, Lorcan Burke, Andrew Mortimer and Mark Dowling all opting off the panel.
Among the new players involved are Ciaran McEvoy and Frank Flanagan from Portlaoise, Ronan Broderick and Diarmuid Conway from Clough-Ballacolla, Clonaslee’s Liam Senior, Fiachra C Fennell from Rosenallis and Paul Simms from Ballinakill.
Rathdowney-Errill’s James Ryan, who played championship in the 2018 season under Eamonn Kelly, has returned to the squad having not been involved in the Joe McDonagh Cup success.
The Rathdowney-Errill contingent, including the likes of last season’s captain Paddy Purcell, Ross King and All Star nominee Jack Kelly, are back in training with the squad following the end of the club season that ended with a Leinster semi-final defeat.
Laois take on Carlow in Netwatch Cullen Park on Sunday at 2pm.