Tomás Mulcahy has called on county managers to embrace the advantage of seeing their players in club action before the inter-county campaign begins this year.

The tradition in many counties is to delay much or all of the club championship until their side has departed the race for the All-Ireland title.

But the Covid-19 pandemic has forced a redraw of the calendar, and the club championships can begin from 17 July, two months before the scheduled start of the inter-county competitions.

"I think it's ideal for an inter-county manager," the three-time All-Ireland winner, who has also been a manager and selector at club and U20 level, told RTÉ Sport.

"If he gets his four weeks lead-in time to the commencement of the inter-county campaign, let these guys go and try their damned hardest with their club over the next number of weeks.

"He can see these guys perform at a very high level, they’re getting very good games and I think it’s massive preparation for going into an inter-county campaign.

"If we have four weeks preparation for an inter-county campaign, that’s plenty of time because these guys will have done an awful lot.

"I think it’s a fantastic opportunity. As a manager, you’re going to see your players playing top-class action, and if they don’t perform at training or in club championship, as Brian Cody would have always said, you don’t get your game."

Fears that counties will try to circumvent a ban on panels training until 14 September has led Croke Park to threaten sanctions and ask clubs to report on breaches.

The Corkman thinks that trying to maintain interest at county level purely through training between now and October would be difficult in any case.

"An October inter-county championships might be about the guys keeping themselves fresh, keeping themselves fit, and keeping the appetite.

"Appetite is everything. You can’t keep going from now to October in an inter-county environment and trying to do the same with clubs.

"So I think that’s why maybe there is the strict guideline of 14 September."