As the return to competitive Gaelic games draws closer, the perennial battle of club versus county continues to gather pace.

Offaly chairman Michael Duignan spoke vehemently during the week about the rumours of inter-county training taking place in the designated club window. 

Duignan took aim at the inter-county managers, county boards, the GAA, the players and the GPA regarding the handling of the situation, the breaking of rules and the lack of disciplinary action, labelling it "hypocrisy and dishonest". 

And former Offaly hurler Brian Carroll believes that his county chairman has shown strong leadership on the matter, while adding that a fix is needed in the battle between club and county. 

"Michael is not afraid to say what he thinks and how he feels, and he has probably said what the vast majority of people on the ground and in the community feel with regards to inter-county teams training," said Carroll, speaking on RTÉ 2fm's Game On. 

"We all understand the need for the county to train and prepare as it is a higher level and the game is longer. They are elite players and the managers push them very hard.

"But the issue is, we don't want to see situations where certain players are not even training for their clubs at the moment, and there are strong rumours out there that the counties are already taking precedence ahead of their clubs, and that is a sad situation." 

Carroll believes that the GAA could have handled the situation better and he believes that rules will be broken in relation to the proposed date of 14 September for when inter-county players can return to training. 

"The date hasn’t worked well as each county can set their own county championships as they see fit, so we have situations where some players may be finished by the middle of August. 

"And they are supposed to wait for another month, but realistically that is not going to happen and these players are going to return to training. 

"While it was a well-intentioned process by the GAA, naming 14 September, I don’t think it will work on the ground and because of that I think this rule will be broken. 

"It shouldn’t be club versus county, there needs to be a fix, because this is creeping up every year and it is really coming to the fore at the moment."