Club & County (1)
Club & County Talk
At long last.
It needs to be a new beginning but needs very often are the last items on the powerbrokers list of priotities. The spanking new - Club Players Association - will need very sharp teeth if they are to bite in to Croke Park with new concepts.
The emphasis we are informed is the achievement of better welfare and respect for the club player and a diary plan of games, just like soccer. However the athletes who play soccer at grassroots levels as their No.1 sport commit mainly to soccer whilst hurlers and gaelic footballers swing to and fro between both codes. That in my opinion is a huge factor in streamlining club fixtures.
Ladies gaelic football and camogie seem to be far more streamlined at inter county level and with two independant associations administrating fixtures, maybe it's time for the G.A.A. to consider setting up independant hurling and football bodies, but alas that will not be tolerated by the G.A.A. bankers.
Heave inter county duties on to club duties and making and completing fixtures on schedule gets very muddy for the club and inter county player. Ideally clubs need separate teams of hurlers and footballers and when the mix of under age fixtures, not to mention school and college fixtures comes into focus, secretaries compiling games and dates at all levels have an envious task.
Maybe going down the road of senior rugby in Ireland is now a major consideration and if the C.P.A. believe they have a blueprint to resolve some of the congestion and confusion for club players, that
is really urgent.
The four provinces of rugby in Ireland name their squads in advance of the upcoming season and they administer just one sports code.
Finance was the motivating factor that decimated the provincial G.A.A. championships and the back doors have done zero for the betterment of hurling and football standards. The power brokers deny this, but no amount of extra games will bring success to all the minnow counties.
G.A.A. fans going through the turstiles in recent years have given their answers in large measures and Croke Park have constantly turned a blind eye to the requirements of the club players over
Panderings about the grassroots flow like daffodils in Spring but the real issue is total focus on inter county fare. County managers demand huge extra hours in training regimes and their sole pre-occupation is getting winning results at all costs.
Again managers of county teams command huge expenses and if training is limited to just two nights by the governing body, then the mangers take home pay is a pittance.
The merry go round of the annual inter county scene for a so called amateur sport, is way out of line. Only Croke Park, not the C.P.A. have the means and the power at their disposal to respect club players all over Ireland.
The C.P.A. is demanding identity with the Croke Park suit brigade and already we wonder why they need Croke Park on their side. Yes, by all means Croke Park must identify with the C.P.A. but the G.P.A. strode along for quite some time before venturing in to Croke Park. Again finance was the chief reason for that amalgation.
This uniquely important subject needs immence consumption of time at all levels and time waits for no man or woman.
We plan to return to this thorny subject very soon.