McHugh commends board for sticking to their guns

October 10, 2013

Ireland team captain Michael Murphy ©INPHO/James Crombie
Martin McHugh believes the Donegal county board is right not to change the date of their SFC final to accommodate Michael Murphy's involvement in the International Rules series.

Murphy is facing a club v country dilemma after his club Glenswilly qualified to meet Killybegs in the county final, which is fixed for Sunday week, October 20 - less than 24 hours after he is due to captain Ireland in the first Test against Australia at Kingspan Breffni Park.

While having a certain amount of sympathy for the 2012 All-Ireland winning captain, McHugh insists the International Rules should not impact on club activity, and is therefore backing the county board's stance.

"It's very disappointing for Michael Murphy that he finds himself torn between his club and his country," the legendary Donegal forward writes in the Irish Daily Star.

"I've talked to him about it and my belief is you can't go changing the date of your county final and you can't play it on a Friday night.

"That would be denigrating the biggest day in the club calendar, and if you do that, where does it stop with club football? It's already taking a kicking from the county game and doesn't need another boot from a hybrid, exhibition game.

"Look at the way the Australians treat this series - we should take our cue from them. They're not sending close to their strongest side and they've used it as a free holiday in the past.

"Are we going to tamper with the bedrock of the GAA for a made up game that is played twice every three years where the rules change when one team gets on top too much? We can't kick club football again."

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