“For the first time, there’s a bit of excitement about the club scene”: Former Tipperary hurler happy with GAA schedules

Tipp FM's Stephen Gleeson, with Ken Hogan, and Denis Kelly

Tipperary’s opponents in both the Munster hurling and football championships for 2020 are now known.

The football was revealed early yesterday by the GAA with Tipperary’s first game being their quarter-final clash with Clare on the 31st of October/1st of November.

The winners of that game will then face the winners of Waterford v Limerick in the semi-final.

The draw for the hurling was made last night, with Tipperary to face either Limerick or Clare in the semi-final on the same weekend as the football quarter-final.

Speaking to Tipp FM Sport, former Tipp hurler, Ken Hogan says he’s happy with the schedule of games:

“The county board, and you know the CCC have done a great job in managing fixtures. With dual players, it’s not easy. And of course we have a number of proud dual clubs, so from that perspective you’ve got to be fair as well.

“But, from everybody’s point of view, we’ve been three months without sporting activity, without competitive activity, and we’re just hoping that COVID will stay down and then that maybe crowds can return to watch these games.”

Ken says he’s also greatly looking forward to the club championships being played during the summer months:

“I think for the first time, there’s a bit of excitement really about the club scene. I think the club scene has been in the background for the last number of years.

“Obviously, the inter-county hurling and football is huge now, but I think this year has created a level playing field for everybody.

“I’m genuinely excited about the club matches. Every county are looking forward to playing their domestic fixtures. I think it can only be a good thing and now that there’s a structure in place – particularly for Tipperary – we have the dates and I think that’s all players wanted.”

The Lorrha native and former Tipp goalkeeper also believes the tougher winter conditions shouldn’t have too much of a negative affect on how the inter-county games are played this year:

“Well I’m sure the GAA have been in contact with the major grounds. You know, you take the five major grounds with floodlights – Cork, Limerick, Thurles, Portlaoise and Croke Park – I think really they have got to take ownership of the fact that these pitches must be in pristine condition.

“Nowadays you see Croke Park and it’s in absolutely brilliant condition 12 months of the year, and I think hopefully all the major stadiums will be in that type of pristine condition come October/November.

“Of course, it’s going to be colder, it’s going to be wetter, but I think just to play the championship in the calendar year will be a huge achievement.”