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Kerry legend O'Sullivan feels inter-county games shouldn't proceed

Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

17:22 16 Oct 2020

Darran O'Sullivan feels it's a mistake that the inter-county season is resuming in the current climate. 

The penultimate rounds of Allianz Football League fixtures will be played this weekend, which includes a trip to Monaghan for Kerry.

The Kingdom's players are to drive individually to Inniskeen and back, to avoid potentially contracting COVID-19 on a team bus.

"It is the most prudent thing to do," Kerry chairman Tim Murphy told The Examiner, "And to make sure our players are protected to the absolute maximum".

Former Kerry captain O'Sullivan, however, doesn't feel it's right to press on with the inter-county season at the moment.

The Tanaiste Leo Varadkar warned on Thursday that a lapse into Level-5 coronavirus restrictions would bring the shutters down on the All Ireland Championships.

And while admitting he'll be watching as a sports fan at the weekend, O'Sullivan told The Hard Shoulder doesn't think the games should continue with the country on tenterhooks, "I genuinely don't. You've amateur players being held to the same responsibilities as professional players.

"And I think the professional bodies have shown over the past couple of weeks that they can't keep their players safe.

"Just before you rang there I looked at a picture of [Cristiano] Ronaldo online and he's isolating next to a pool. It's a lot different isolating when you're a professional soccer player."

Former Mayo star David Brady, and O'Sullivan's former Kingdom teammate Marc Ó Sé suggested that play goes on, but with increased testing for players.

"I just think there's too many factors," O'Sullivan responded, "I know what David's [Brady] saying, it would give everyone a lift. Jesus, I'm looking forward to watching the games myself this weekend.

"But when I put myself in someone else's shoes. If one of these county boys was a colleague of mine at work, and I'm sitting at home. And I'm not going to see family, I'm not going out to dinner and stuff.

"And one of these lads is driving 5-odd hours up to Monaghan playing a match, driving down tired and fatigued after a match, having to stop wherever he/she has to stop....

"Am I comfortable working with them on the Monday or the Tuesday? I don't think I would. I don't think it's fair on a lot of people being told they can't see family and friends, they can't go for dinner, they can't get a coffee.

"It's not that long ago I was a player - would I want to play? I probably would, there's not much else out there.

"I just think it's a bigger issue than just 'are the players comfortable playing?'. A lot of them do want to play, sure why wouldn't they want to play? It's everything else that goes with it."

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Coronavirus Covid-19 Darran O'Sullivan David Brady GAA Kerry Monaghan

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