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Hurling

Eddie Brennan | "I don't think it would be the same without fans"

Thom Malone
Thom Malone

22:21 19 May 2020

Former Kilkenny hurler and current Laois boss Eddie Brennan joined Off The Ball on Tuesday as he spoke about Laois and a Championship with no crowds.

The eight-time All-Ireland winner with Kilkenny is into his second spell in charge of Laois. The COVID-19 lockdown ended his chances of locking horns with former boss Brian Cody in the Leinster Championship.

Brennan says he is giving his players an easy time of things given the uncertainty around the resumption of sport. A situation made worse by the prevalence of "absolutely perfect hurling weather."

"It very difficult to keep lads with the foot to the floor when they have no definitive timeline so since this all kicked off we have left them be.

"We've told them to keep with the programme and keep tipping away and after a couple of weeks the novelty of that can wear off.

"I think we were all maybe hoping there might be a quick fix to this and that May would come, but after a couple of weeks, it was obvious that wasn't going to be the case.

"We've really left them alone a good bit, just checked in with them maybe two weeks ago with a small bit of Zoom and we're sitting down seeing how we're proceeding from here."

Eddie Brennan: "I'd say no"

 

A closed-doors Championship is highly likely and probably the only realistic option at this stage given the government's roadmap, Brennan feels it will not be the same without the crowds.

"I'd find it very weird," says the eight-time All-Ireland winner. "If the gun was put to my head, I'd say no, I don't think it would be the same without fans.

"I don't think we should run a Championship just for the sake of running one or ticking a box. I know we all want it and we'd love a few matches.

"I think if there was a Junior B played in the morning and it was streamed live it would be the most viewed thing going because we are just craving games.

"We've all played challenge matches behind closed doors, there's just no atmosphere to it and you can hear everything that's going on. But I think that atmosphere draws it out of you a little bit more as a player."

He drew on his playing experience when it came to looking ahead to the sport's resumption.

"As a player, you want to play in front of the big crowds. You want to play in front of the big stadiums, so that would definitely be weird.

"Look if it has to be, it has to be, there's no problem once everybody gets the level playing field. The one thing that you want is if they announce what way it's going to run and everybody gets to go from the same base and they green light to do collective training (at the same time).

"But if I'm being asked in black and white, I just couldn't be in favour of it. I just couldn't imagine it being anything like what Championship hurling is about.

"I'm sure the players won't mind if they end up winning a Liam McCarthy or a Leinster or a Munster Championship, they may not be too fussed."


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Eddie Brennan Hurling Kilkenny Laois

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