Belfast Telegraph

Derry footballer and hurler Chrissy McKaigue hits out at scheduling

By Martin Breheny

Versatile Derry star Chrissy McKaigue criticised the Ulster Council after he was forced to play two games in less than 24 hours for Ireland and his club Slaughtneil.

McKaigue was superb as the Derry hurling champions built up an early eight-point lead, only to lose out to Loughgiel in yesterday's decider at Celtic Park.

The dual player also lined out in Ireland's second International Rules test against Australia in Croke Park on Saturday night.

"There are people on the committees and I don't understand their rationale when it comes to fixtures," he said.

"It was a very difficult decision for me to play (on Saturday night), but I owed Paul Earley and the Ireland management team, because we have been training for 10 weeks.

"There is no concern for player welfare. I'm disappointed with the Ulster Council.

"Let's not forget one of our best young players, Cormac O'Doherty, also had an Ulster colleges match to play on Friday night.

"Guys playing two games in two or three days, that's just a sad reality of the GAA at the minute. It's just very disappointing."

McKaigue also accused Loughgiel of underestimating Slaughtneil.

"I felt there was a lack of respect there," said McKaigue. "People said we weren't at that level and that kind of spurred us on."

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