Mass exodus of Limerick hurling and football stars to America

Mass exodus of Limerick hurling and football stars to America

THE early exit of Limerick’s inter-county hurling and football teams from championship action has seen a mass exodus of players across the Atlantic.

A total of 39 players, most in the last two weeks, have departed Limerick for Boston, San Francisco, Chicago and New York.

A whopping 11 members of the Limerick U-21 hurling panel headed stateside just days after they were dethroned as All Ireland and Munster champions.

Nine senior hurlers who saw championship action in 2016 are now in the US, while four members of starting football team have also left these shores for the remainder of the Summer.

Twenty six different clubs have seen players granted overseas sanctions – North American County Board sanctions, New York sanctions, Canadian sanctions or ​J1 sanctions.

Five players from Kilmallock and three each from Doon and Patrickswell head-up the list of departures, which commenced at the end of the Third Level academic year. But the vast majority of the Limerick sanctions were granted since TJ Ryan’s hurlers, John Brudair’s footballlers and John Kiely’s U-21’s all suffered championship defeats in an eight day period at the beginning of this month.

The sanctions concerning the inter-county players from Limerick were all granted between July 14-20. The sanctions exclude players from lining out with their home clubs in Limerick for a minimum of 30 days.

In the coming weeks many of the Limerick team-mates are likely to be in opposition with their varying new clubs in the North American Board Championships.

While there are four different cities involved in the sanctions there are a number of different clubs within each. The Tipperary club in Boston has gained five members of the Limerick U-21 team, while the Tom Burkes club in the city now has four Limerick club players in their ranks.

In San Francisco, the Na Fianna club has five who have senior hurling championship experience with Limerick, while in Chicago the Cu Chulainn the Harry Boland clubs have seen Limerick players arrive.

The American sanctions mean that seven of the 12 clubs in the Limerick SFC this weekend will be without players, while all but three of the Limerick SHC clubs currently have players in the US ahead of the next round of hurling on August 19-21.