Club players around the country will be in the spotlight over the next few months at a time when inter-county GAA players would normally have been dominating the headlines.

A select number of county championships resume this weekend as Gaelic Games returns in earnest following the easing of Covid-19 restrictions, with many more to kickstart from next weekend.

For Pat Spillane, the current club-only period is not just an opportunity for club players but also a chance for inter-county managers to think outside the box and spot talent that could deepen the pool of talent they normally pick from.

"[Club players are] in the spotlight, they've got full access to all of the players and in a way we're returning to the grassroots where, to quote Charles Kickham, the GAA it's about the power and glory of the little village," the Kerry All-Ireland winner and Sunday Game analyst told the RTÉ GAA podcast.

"That's what we're going to see over the next couple of weeks and hopefully, we'll get new heroes, some great matches and I know we will.

"And hopefully, county managers looking out there will say, 'Oh, there's some good talent here', instead of going for the same old, same old from the conveyor belt of development squads, Under-17s, Under-20.

"Let's look at the county championship games, let's see who's playing well there and let's promote them to county."   

Spillane added that in recent years, managers are often narrowing their selection pools down to Sigerson Cup, Fitzgibbon and the inter-county underage panels.

"That's where the county player comes from. Not many county players are sprung out of being brilliant in a club championship," he said.

"It's rare. You might come across a Kieran Donaghy, who never played underage, or a Bernard Brogan and suddenly because he's so good at club, he's elevated to senior championship."  

Former Clare and Dublin hurling manager Anthony Daly concurred and pointed out that in normal circumstances, inter-county bosses have not often had the luxury of being able to watch their respective county championships too closely, which makes this summer and autumn a different prospect.

"You might have a couple of lads sticking the hands up, saying, 'I'm back, I'm hungry, I'm fresh and I'm ready to go', so it could throw up a few lads like that, I'd say," he said. 

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