Former Limerick hurler Mark Foley feels that the Fitzgibbon Cup are the source of disrespect from GAA officials following the confirmation that intercounty pre-season competitions will return in 2022.
The resumption of those competitions will directly clash with third level competitions in January and Foley is not impressed with the pressure being put on players who are involved with a third level institute while also trying to balance their intercounty and club commitments.
“It’s disrespectful to a great competition and the thing about the Fitzgibbon as well is that it’s championship and to be diluting the overall product because the season is so congested takes away from it,” Foley said.
“There’s no comparison between a championship match and a pre-season friendly. It’s far better when there’s a bit of bite and there’s something at stake. The public are crying out for championship games, games where the players are giving them everything.
“If the public were to choose between a decent run-in to the Fitzgibbon Cup with a lot of inter-county players who are giving it their all or looking at a Walsh Cup game on a Sunday in January, they’d go for the Fitzgibbon Cup.”
Foley opined his views that third level competitions are being “squeezed out” in favour of intercounty games of lesser importance.
“It’s gone away from the spectacle it was 20 years ago when it was on the weekend and it had its date in the calendar and everyone was free to play it,” he added.
“If marketed properly with a space in the calendar where players could have a right go at it, the public would buy into it – but it’s just squeezed into the calendar right now for the sake of it.”