JACK O’CONNOR last night defended his decision to let Tony Brosnan and Jack Savage play for Kerry just hours after they lined up for the Sigerson Cup.
The duo helped MTU Kerry win against UCD at Tralee in the opening round of the third-place championship on Wednesday.
Savage and Brosnan then rushed to Templetuohy and both came on from the bench in the 58th minute in the UK’s 1-23 to 0-5 McGrath Cup destruction of Tipperary that evening.
Westmeath ace Ray Connellan, who was playing for college Dublin that day, slammed the Munster giants’ manager for bringing them into the fold for the second time in a day.
But, contacted by SunSport last night, O’Connor revealed that the pair are adamant they want to take part in the game against Premier County.
And he insists player welfare is at the forefront of his mind during his third stint as county boss.
Speaking to the media yesterday, Connellan announced the players were not allowed to play two matches in one day.
The Athlone club player said: “It’s January, who benefits? Does that really benefit Tony coming from June, July, and August leading up to where Kerry is aiming? I do not think so.
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“It’s the same with Jack Savage, these are young players that need to be looked after.
“Look, they’ll be eager and want to play and I don’t think you’ll find a player who will say no, really.
“So it’s a matter of pure management and taking care of the players and the welfare of the players.
“God, it’s been disturbed enough these days, in terms of player welfare. I think the evidence is to the contrary, certainly in this case.
“I don’t know Jack O’Connor. I really don’t know any of them personally.
“I’ve met Tony a few times, but he really has nothing to prove this time of year.
A QUALITY FOOTBALL
“I know he is not a great player but Tony is a quality player.
“He sticks out like a sore thumb at how good he is.
“He went beyond that. It’s a silly thing to put yourself in a position like that.”
Connellan spent two years on books at St Kilda in the AFL and says incidents like this put the GAA out of favor.
He also believes there is a view in some circles among districts that college competitions are less important.
And the UCD man felt the need to do something to help the players in this situation as it unfolded.
“I think it will massively take away GAA,” he said. I have friends who play professional football and they’ll look at it and just say, ‘Sure, that’s not GAA. Calculated almost ‘.
“It was January, the pitch was thick and you have a guy who played a pretty tough game in the Sigerson Cup, as they all are, and he went out and played a game and then he went out. moving for many hours in the car, sitting down, being stretched, in pain.
“Surely how can you not expect a man to end up pulling a hamstring, a quad, and then where does his year go from there? He is pursuing soft tissue injuries from January through the year.
“I remember I moved to Australia and the most important thing for the young guys out there was managing the load.
“Honestly, I don’t know what Jack O’Connor was thinking.
“How many points did Kerry get when the boys came on?
WHERE IS THE BENEFITS?
“You tell me the benefit of bringing in two boys who played a game that day, and both played very well, both stood out.
“It was January 12 yesterday and these boys after playing two games in one day, that’s mentality.
“It shouldn’t have happened. It needs to be talked about. “
Connellan has settled back into Irish life since returning from Oz in 2018.
He’s back in college and was a key player on Jack Cooney’s Lake County team once again after being called home.
The 27-year-old has watched the Irish stars come and go from the AFL, as Cork’s Mark Keane returned home and Mayo’s Oisín Mullin signed the deal with Geelong.
Connellan warns that there are many advantages and disadvantages to living as a professional athlete.
YOU NEVER KNOW
And he said Mullin needed to be absolutely sure of everything before he made the call.
“You never know how a person is going,” he said.
“There are a lot of variables about how Oisín Mullin settles down, whether he likes it or not. That’s a big thing. You can go down there and you can hate every minute of it and just come home.
“It does happen but all goes well and he enjoys the lifestyle and the training. He clearly has the technical ability to grow down there really.
“You don’t get to be Young Player of the Year twice and lack any aspect.
“Physically, he’s a big, strong guy, he’s athletic and quick, he’s got very good endurance.
“You see him explode on the pitch and he can obviously put in the effort to repeat and carry on the whole game so he doesn’t have difficulty in any physical aspect.
“And if you see his skills, he plays brilliantly – clearly a very intelligent footballer who can get the job done and fulfill his role well.
“Obviously he has all of that, he has everything in the toolbox to make a great career for himself there.
“Things could go well but there seems to be a bit of an impasse in finishing it so he may decide that staying home with Mayo and working is a better option for him as it is a Great lifestyle but turf. not always greener.
“Being down there is tough sometimes so it might be worth taking this time if that’s what he’s doing to make sure he’s giving 100 per cent of his energy. It was a big decision for a young man to leave.”
RAY CONNELLAN (UCD and Westmeath) helped preview Electric Ireland’s 2022 Fitzgibbon, Sigerson and Higher Education GAA Championships as part of the #FirstClassRivals campaign to celebrate the unexpected alliances formed by partners county champion in pursuit of the most coveted titles in the GAA.
https://www.thesun.ie/sport/gaa-football/8201416/ray-connellan-kerry-jack-oconnor-tony-brosnan-jack-savage/ Kerry’s boss Jack O’Connor defended the decision to let Tony Brosnan and Jack Savage play hours after the Sigerson Cup game