The solution is simple. An intelligent management team would get all the clubs on board if the ic players played regularly for their clubs. It would be beneficial for the clubs,for the club player,for the ic player,for the standard of club games in the county,for the ic management to see who in their set up are standing up and leading their respective teams and it would make the senior club titles on offer all the more sweeter to fight for. The county team would reap the rewards of goodwill and all that goes with it as the clubs and club members would really feel a part of the county setup and have a greater respect for the county team, something that's not there with the protective bubble wrap mentality that exists at IC level. Greater respect would translate into greater support. The simple solution is the ic players train with the county team but turns out for the club teams for all league and championship games,12 + 6 = 18 max.
For the ic player an 11 month season would entail at maximum 18 club games,8 ic league games and 6 ic championship games giving a grand total of 32 games in total to be played over 47 weeks approx.
That 32 game figure is a maximum figure btw provided the players club and county qualify for all the finals.
Just to put some context on the figures,
Ice hockey players travel 100s of 1000s of miles and play 82 games in a regular season of approx 28/30 weeks
American footballers travel 1000s of miles and play 16 games in 17 weeks in the regular season.
Basketball players again travel huge distances and cram 82 games in less than 30 weeks,completing a regular season.
When you factor in the travelling,the intensity of professional sport,the non stop number of games and the short timeframes involved,how is it that the best players in the county are kept from representing their clubs for 3/4s of the season under the excuse of player burnout ?
31 games max with limited travel over 47 weeks isn't that taxing,is it ?
The least no of games an ic player could play would be 11 club league games + 5 ic league games + 3 club championship games + 2 ic championship games = 22 games over 47 weeks approx.
That number would be closer for most county players in Dublin atm.
And before the college brigade,Walsh cup and underage fanboys jump all over this, I've no interest in those competitions. As far as I'm concerned a senior intercounty hurler should make himself available for his club senior team and his county senior team first and foremost. Everything after that should be secondary. The underage and Walsh cup should feed into the senior setup,not the other way around,and the colleges is simply distracting in its current format. But again the colleges shouldn't be high on a Dublin senior hurlers agenda.Its,at best,more of a plaything for our country cousins and,at worst, a vanity project for some high profile managers. Then again ,after all that,is that what people in positions of power want, Dublin hurling fragmented with absolutely no direction,with the separation of club and county,with the continued appointments of outside managers, with our young talented hurlers steered towards a better and more unified football set up with an unshakable Dublin identity.
The reality of it all is we have had 4 consecutive years of abject mediocrity at senior intercounty level. All under the watch of all Ireland winning managers. All with huge financial backing. All with pampered players separated from their grassroots and give the title of "elite players". Go GPA.
Its time for a completely different approach.
The current model stinks to high heaven.
And its not working.
With that said I cant wait for the resumption of the club championship. Some great games to look forward to.