Limerick Ladies Football and Camogie clash 'a disgrace' - John Ryan

Jerome O'Connell

Reporter:

Jerome O'Connell

Email:

joconnell@limerickleader.ie

Limerick

Limerick ladies football manager John Ryan

ALL-IRELAND winning Limerick Ladies Football manager John Ryan has labelled this weekend's fixture clash with camogie a "disgrace".

Last September Ryan's Limerick won the All-Ireland Junior Ladies Football Championship title in Croke Park and this Saturday make the step up to the intermediate ranks as the 2019 Munster Championship commences.

Limerick are playing Tipperary in a game that is the curtain-raiser to the Munster SFC tie between the same counties in Semple Stadium in Thurles. The Ladies Football at 5pm and the senior football tie game at 7pm.

But in the past few days came confirmation that Limerick are also to play a Munster Senior Camogie Championship semi final against Cork at 7.15 on Saturday.

Three players - Rebecca Delee, Roisin Ambrose and Niamh Ryan - are part of both Limerick panels.

"We should be looking forward to this game - it's on the big stage in Semple Stadium and for players to miss out on that is a disgrace," hit out Limerick Ladies Football manager John Ryan.

"This fixture was made four months ago," stressed Ryan of his sides' football tie in Thurles.

"Player welfare has to come into this - it's a clash of two big games," added Ryan.

"Playing before the Limerick v Tipperary senior football game in Semple Stadium is a massive profile for Limerick Ladies Football. In fairness to Ladies Football in Croke Park they are trying to promote their sport and that's why these games are curtain-raisers to big games across the country this Summer. This is the way it should be and I can't understand why the camogie game can't be played Sunday or put back to another weekend - it just doesn't make sense," said the Limerick Ladies Football manager.

"I think camogie has to have a serious look at themselves - our fixture was made four months ago in January and there was loads of time to even talk about this, but they ignored it and now we have a situation where three players are left swinging between both. It's not professional in this day and age," said Ryan.

He confirmed that both managements would not leave the decision of which to play, up to the players.

"Myself and Declan Nash (camogie manager) have worked so well together for the last four months since January to co-ordinate fixture and training etc. We are going to meet and make a decision as to what player plays where. It's not fair on the players, it's not fair on the players families and it's not fair on their team-mates - it's just crazy. We are meeting later today to take the decision away from the players to try and ease their burden and pressure. They have training tonight and we have training tonight and we will address this is in the dressing rooms so that there will be no more distractions," outlined Ryan to the Limerick Leader.

He added: "It's about not causing any stress or discomfort to the players, who have given us massive commitment. They (players) have given so many hours to ladies football and camogie and to be landed in this position is just not fair ".

"It's unfair on the players and on management when we should be preparing for big games in the Munster Championship. The same thing happened a few weeks ago with the national League semi final and the junior camogie league final - it's crazy stuff. We want to highlight it and going forward people have to look at the bigger picture because it's about player welfare," said Ryan.

Earlier this Tuesday morning, Limerick camogie issued a statement expressing their disappointment at Saturday's fixture clash.