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Michael Duignan: Hurling's 'greatest resource' not being protected

Updated: Wednesday, 19 Mar 2014 13:25 | Comments

Padraic Collins small stature does not hinder his hurling ability, says Michael Duignan
Padraic Collins small stature does not hinder his hurling ability, says Michael Duignan

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Michael Duignan believes hurling is in a good place, with the emergence of Clare rebalancing the game away from an over-reliance on power and physicality.

But the former Offaly star, a two-time All-Ireland winner with the county, has added his voice to those calling for the GAA to do more to prevent player burnout.

Speaking about the state of the game to RTÉ Sport, Duignan said: “I was glad to see Clare’s emergence last year because they came with very skilful and fast hurling that had a lot of movement.

"Hurling had been getting very physical and the skilful smaller lad was being pushed out of the game.

“But Clare came up with the like of Podge Collins, a great player who is only 5’6 or 5’7, and developed a style that suited their players and showed that it can be done.

"Cork, to a lesser extent, did the very same thing. Hurling is going very well.”

But while things are positive in terms of the quality of the play on the field, the sheer volume of matches top hurlers and footballers play between inter-county, colleges, underage grades and club is a concern.

Duignan said: “I think we are burning players out with the amount of matches and the injuries they are sustaining in both hurling and football.

"We are not protecting our biggest resource enough and that’s our players.

"We are running them into the ground and that is something the GAA have to take very seriously over the coming years.”

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